New Years Eve, a holiday that holds a special place in many people’s calendars. It’s one night where you want everything to be perfect, from your outfit to the music to the moment you choose to kiss your crush. There’s a mantra which plenty believe; how you spend New Years Eve dictates how the rest of your year will pan out. It’s a slightly childish notion but one that spurs people to create the best night possible.
In the last month we’ve seen countless lineups for New Years Eve festivals, all boasting some of the biggest local and international names to play on their stages. Punters have made a mad dash to get their tickets, all in a bid to capture the perfect New Years Eve moment. Fresh to the fray that is the New Years festival is Beyond The Valley. It’s celebrating it’s second birthday this December after a momentous debut last year that starred the likes of Action Bronson, Peking Duk, The Preatures and Pond. Yet believe it or not, one of Australia’s biggest parties began life in an accounting and finance firm.
Starting life where fun goes to die (the offices of an accounting firm), the seeds for Australia’s biggest festival success Beyond The Valley was born.
Nicholas Greco was 18 and as many young people do found himself doing some shitty work experience. To him that was the responsible thing to do; something that everyone expected of him even though it made him unhappy. “I was 18 and doing work experience at an accounting and finance firm because that’s the career paths you get conditioned for” he recalls. “Mid-way through my placement I sat there having a mid week crisis and said to myself there’s no way in hell I’m going to do this for the rest of my life“.
“I went out in my lunch break and picked up copies of Beat and Inpress, went back to the office and literally made a list of music businesses and started to cold call all of them and started contacting artists on MySpace and kept going until I created some sort of opening for myself. Somehow that actually worked!”
Armed with his new found inspiration and a thirst to do a job he was passionate about, Greco started running small events and club nights, never dreaming that something as huge as Beyond The Valley would be on the not too distant horizon. He ran his first event, Regal Cream, at 19, even flying in Shunda K from Yo Majesty to perform.
“I had one of the greatest nights of my life because the whole experience was so surreal. You get a taste for it. Then you want every event to be bigger and better than the last. Things really just snowballed until the idea of running a camping festival became something that seemed achievable“.
Greco began running a weekly event at the now empty Palace Theatre, bringing in thousands of people to see acts like Peking Duk and Alison Wonderland. The owners of the venue had previously worked on St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, Big Day Out and Soundwave, and seeing the hype and passion put into his events encouraged Greco and his partners to kick things up a notch. “[They] really pushed us in the right direction and gave us the confidence to go out and literally risk everything we had to put on BTV” Greco says. “It was a really overwhelming process at the start“.
Beyond The Valley’s first iteration took 18 months of planning before it came to fruition. Not surprising it was a difficult task to pull off. “It was definitely a lot harder than we thought it was going to be. So much goes behind every single process and there’s a lot of red tape with green fields events. There has been heaps of industry support and help though which has made the process a lot smoother“.
That smooth process helped the Beyond The Valley team a great deal. There is no shortage of New Years Eve festivals in Australia, and with so much competition there was no room to fuck up. But as Greco looks back the competition was the last thing that was on his mind. For him and the team, what was important was fulfilling their vision and bringing an experience they felt was missing from the scene.
“There is definitely stiff competition but we also felt there was a bit of a gap for what we were wanting to do” Greco reflected. “We want to create a destination event that really focused on the punter’s experience that also caters for a diverse range of musical taste. New Years is a time that everyone plans for and wants to be doing something special for and we felt we could provide that“.
Needless to say, that didn’t stop a severe case of the butterflies the day December 29 rolled around last year, with Greco admitting he had a sever case of anxiety. “There was so much going on and you just have to tackle everything one thing at a time. Literally from a toilet clogging to the pie van getting a flat tyre there is just a ridiculous list of things to deal with but luckily we have put together a really really amazing team“.
With a dynamite first year behind them, Greco and his team are moving full steam ahead with year two. With the likes of Flight Facilities, RL Grime, Jamie XX, Boys Noize, Last Dinosaurs and more gracing the fields in Lardner, it stands to be the go-to party destination to ring in 2016.