When I was scouring the summer festival lineups and making my NYE plans, I figured what would be a more idyllic way to welcome the new decade than waking up amongst the rolling hills of West Gippsland? I figured right.
Beyond The Valley is a four-day blowout located in a charming hideaway on the back roads of Lardner, South Victoria. Picture sleepy farmlands, fields of wild canola, and rolls upon rolls of hay enveloping one hell of a party. Their 2019 edition garnered the talents of Tyler, The Creator, Methyl Ethel, Meg Mac, Floating Points, Skepta, Cub Sport, Hobo Johnson, Matt Corby, Bag Raiders, Lion Babe, The Veronicas, Rüfüs Du Sol, and many more incredible acts.
In a summer festival season overshadowed by national panic, Beyond The Valley 2019 was a much-welcomed reprieve from reality.
After spending the first couple of days settling in, memorising routes, and withstanding impending heat stroke, we were gifted a little reprieve on the final day with cooler weather and even some rain. The stage barrier was also rigged with hoses to keep punters hydrated and sopping wet (which, I think, security took a little too much joy in maintaining).
There were imminent bushfire threats to the east as 2020 approached and safety, of course, was of utmost concern. However the event soldiered on, with organisers offering regular updates via the main stage and the app to keep patrons informed and assured that they weren’t in any danger.
The general vibe around the festival remained untethered and upbeat, with mates keeping a vigilant eye on their mates. Even in the thick of the mosh for the long-awaited international headliner Tyler, The Creator, when 16,000 of us were packed to the gills, friends were locating friends via rib-stick totem poles and making sure old-mate two rows in front wasn’t too munted. It was pretty damn wholesome and every bit a tiny oasis from the harsh reality that seemed to be raging outside.
The festival circuit has experienced an adverse blow this season with a number of cancellations amid safety concerns in light of the ongoing bushfires that are devastating the country. So, it was a small relief to experience Beyond the Valley for the first time and watch it succeed for another year.
It was the euphoric Rüfüs Du Sol who brought in the new year/decade, and it seemed oh so fitting (and poetic) that our first track of 2020 would be Innerbloom. Check out the visual highlights below.