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The Hidden New Year's Eve Wonderland, Lost Paradise Festival

Yoga, art, dance, and some great music in a beautiful forest.

29/11/2016 2:39 PM AEDT | Updated 29/11/2016 4:28 PM AEDT
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Lost Paradise

New Year's Eve, for most people, is about getting yourself in a crowd to celebrate; fireworks at crowded city locations, big house parties, packing in a crowded nightclub or rooftop venue. It's one of the biggest celebrations of the year, and many like to ring in the new year in the biggest, most crowded, most central location they can feasibly squeeze themselves into.

Lost Paradise festival is built on a different ethos -- to take yourself away into a secluded forest valley, miles away from anything that could possibly be considered a city (or even a town), and to dance yourself silly with thousands of new friends.

The festival is set down for Glenworth Valley, on the NSW central coast outside Gosford. To begin on December 29, it's three nights of international and local music heavyweights that wraps up on New Year's Eve itself, to keep punters dancing from 2016 all the way into the early hours of 2017.

Aussie lads Sticky Fingers and Flight Facilities head the bill, ably supported by the likes of Hudson Mohawke, Hot Chip, Fat Freddy's Drop, Gang of Youths, Big Scary and more.

It's an impressive music lineup, but festival director Simon Beckingham tells The Huffington Post Australia that Lost Paradise is about far more than just the big names at the top of the poster.

Lost Paradise

"Our ethos is about the experience. We love music lineups but it's about getting into the event and having as many experiences as possible. We put a lot of effort into the creative element, because you're there for three or four days. I personally think the era of just watching bands has had its day," he said.

"People expect more. They want to experience all these different things. We have a popup restaurant, a spa, a special area all about yoga and workshops, speed dating. There's a whole bunch of stuff we're rolling out."

There is a lot going on at Lost Paradise. A peek at the "experiences" tab on their website spruiks art, performance, dance, "shamanic bodywork", crystal healing, massage, tarot readings, astrology, games like croquet and cricket, and the Shambhala Fields area. There's also a pretty enviable food and drink lineup, and its all set down in the lush Glenworth Valley.

Lost Paradise

"There's something unique when people camp. It's like a little town. They get back to nature and merge together for a festival. We fell in love with the valley immediately. It's got a river running through it, it's very lush," Beckingham said.

"That's exactly what people want. It comes down the community. You have to think about the type of community on-site and what you want that to be. Lost Paradise is a reflection of the community I am in on a day-to-day basis."

Beckingham proudly talks up some of the new additions to this year's festival.

"We're building a whole forest thing, sprinklers, lighting, hammocks through the trees, a rustic shack bar, a huge destination bar overlooking the main stage, day beds and other furniture to sit and watch the main stage," he lists.

"We've got a crew doing speed dating and then they'll do some shotgun weddings. We're stepping up the glamping and the chillout zone. We're also doing a thing called Lost Feast, a three course degustation meal, which can be an opportunity to break away from the craziness and hecticness of the event and have a nice meal."

Lost Paradise

Most people will be shacking up in their trusty old canvas tents, but there's a whole host of fancy camping --"glamping" -- options on offer too. The 'Glamping Gypsy Village' will house the likes of Rainbow Tipis, with big tipi tents, a porter service, a cantina bar, nice showers and toilets all on offer. There's a stack going on.

"People are looking for experiences, they're into yoga and lifestyle, they like good food," Beckiongham said.

"They want to get outside the bubble and their comfort zone, they like getting back to nature."

For New Year's Eve, when you usually have to fight the city crowds or stay at home, a festival in a beautiful part of the country sounds like a pretty good option.

For more information on Lost Paradise, click here. For pictures of Lost Paradise, click the slideshow below.

Lost Paradise

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