An example for every Aussie event: we chat with Festival of the Sun director Simon Luke

Festival of the Sun has quickly become one of our favourite festivals. The lineup is always mint, the punters are beautiful people, and the crew really know how to look after the site they’re on – both the ground itself and the humans on it.

In 2018 they’re stepping up the game on that last point, going plastic-free, offering vouchers for anyone who picks up used cans, and holding a ton of environmentally and socially aware activations.

We spoke to Festival Director Simon Luke to find out more about how Festival of the Sun are fighting the good fight, now and always.

festival of the sun fotsun
Festival of the Sun 2017. Photos: Brooke Tunbridge

Aptly curated, environmentally friendly, and for the fans: Director Simon Luke explains why Festival of the Sun will always put sustainability first.

HAPPY: Hey Simon, how are things? What are you up to at the moment?

SIMON: In full swing with FOTSUN now, lots of lead up in between spring waves!

HAPPY: Mad respect for FOTSUN going plastic free this year. What kind of challenges were involved in making that happen?

SIMON: We are really excited to put this initiative in place, we definitely think our punters are on the same page in regards to being more sustainable. However, we know going plastic free won’t be perfect the first year, BUT this is planting the seed. We know we will have to work with our punters on this but we are super excited to take this step and work together to bring this initiative alive.

HAPPY: It must be super rewarding putting these initiatives together. Are these issues all close to your heart?

SIMON: My FOTSUN crew are all surfers, hikers, snowboarders, very active people – many of us have little kids. As a collective, we are in a unique position to make decisions for this boutique festival and do our part to instil change. The crew at FOTSUN believe in the initiatives, so we are excited to bring to the festival organisations and concepts that help educate punters beyond the festival walls. Hopefully our boutique festival FOTSUN can encourage bigger festivals to follow suit.

HAPPY: You had Down To Test around at last year’s festival, how are you planning to ramp that up in 2018?

SIMON: We were the first camping festival to host Down to Test and we want to keep bringing cool concepts that reward punters to the festival. We will be bringing back the glitter bar and free phone charging whilst also throwing in some epic giveaways to those who decide to take the test. We also have a new mystery funhouse with silent sounds headsets which will be very out there. We are excited to reward our punters as well as educate on youth related issues.

HAPPY: Lastly… how pumped are you to kick things off?

SIMON: So so pumped! 15 years this year of FOTSUN, we can’t believe it. We loved seeing plenty of familiar faces in the sand pit and love seeing the new faces that come to enjoy our boutique festival vibes and become a part of the FOTSUNner family.


Festival of the Sun 2018 takes place December 13-16 at Breakwall Holiday Park, Port Macquarie. Tickets are officially sold out.