5 reasons to not miss Australian music festival Beyond The Valley

In partnership with Beyond the Valley

When you think about the world’s calendar for music festivals, December isn’t a month that springs to mind – but Beyond The Valley is changing that. Over a few years, the music festival has established itself as a New Year’s Eve tradition not just for Australians but increasingly for lovers of good music worldwide.

What better way to shake off the year-end blues than by soaking in a southern-hemisphere summer, taking in top-notch performances at world-class stages and indulging in all the perks that a good festival has to offer? It’s no surprise that Beyond The Valley’s eighth edition is officially sold out, with tens of thousands of fest fiends ready to party in the Barunah Plains in Victoria next week.

If you’re wondering what the fuss is all about, read on to find out why Beyond The Valley is a special festival. Of course, nothing beats actually being there, but this list is a close second…

Barunah Plains, photo by Beyond The Valley
Barunah Plains. Credit: Beyond The Valley

Beyond The Valley’s stunning location is almost beyond belief

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a music festival elsewhere in the world with a more picturesque location than Beyond The Valley, which takes place on the Barunah Plains, on the lands of the Wadawurrung and Eastern Maar Peoples. BTV makes full use of a gorgeous natural amphitheatre that makes you feel like you’re doing more than just rocking up to a festival – you’ll be entering a haven with your fellow music lovers for an ecstatic celebration of community and good vibes.

This little idyll isn’t inaccessible, either – Beyond The Valley is just a 90-minute drive from Melbourne (the festival offers buses from the city’s CBD if you’re not planning on taking your own car). And BTV allows you to customise your festival experience: either use day passes and leave the fest each day, or take advantage of top-of-the-line camping facilities and enjoy your time on-site to your heart’s content.

Dance Dome, photo by Beyond The Valley
Dance Dome. Credit: Beyond The Valley

Mix up your festival experience with all the different stages

Beyond The Valley, like any good large-scale festival, has multiple stages – but what differentiates BTV is that organisers really make them worth your while. All stages have been kitted out with unparalleled tech and production that mean wherever you go, you’ll have a NYE blowout to remember. Of course, you can’t miss the massive Valley Stage with its lights, pyro and huge soundsystems, nor the custom-built Dance Dome for the ravers and players (where you can also expect two secret sets this year – keep your eyes peeled).

But make time for the more idiosyncratic and intimate stages too. At the Dr Dans stage, which was named in loving memory of fest friend Daniel Christidis and has garnered itself a cult following from BTV diehards, you can expect to dance your arse off to incredible DJs and thrilling takeovers (such as the Poof Doof’s pinktastic Barbie Party on day 4).

Or find the hidden entrance and squeeze yourself into Schmall Klub, a concealed, limited-capacity party that will transport you to an industrial European club. This space was proposed in 2019 by RÜFÜS DU SOL, the homegrown heroes who are headlining the festival this year. Will you see them in the venue that was their brainchild? Well, you’ll have to find it first…

Schmall Klub, photo by Beyond The Valley
Schmall Klub. Credit: Beyond The Valley

You-had-to-be-there performances from a world-class line-up

Beyond The Valley isn’t any ordinary music festival – you can expect to make some massive memories here. Expect performances you’ll be talking up to your mates for months – you’ll be telling them, “you simply had to be there.” Last year BTV played host to pop queen Nelly Furtado’s first-ever performance in five years, and she had a special treat for revellers: a rendition of her TikTok-viral collab with Dom Dolla, the slinky ‘Eat Your Man’.

And for 2023, the fest has secured not only stellar performers but also culture-changers who’ve made songs that have defined our year: UK rap frontrunner Central Cee spun gold with Dave on the massive single ‘Sprinter’, and Seoul’s finest Peggy Gou made our 2023 when she dropped the fresh-yet-classic banger ‘(It Goes Like) Nanana’. RÜFÜS DU SOL, the only act nominated at the 2023 Grammys, will stage the transcendent live show that has made them a name the world over.

The BTV line-up, overall, is world-class. Some of Australia’s best and most beloved artists will be here this year – from pop-rock legend, queer icon and drummer extraordinaire G Flip to beloved duo Flight Facilities, who will present their Decades Show at BTV – alongside local rising stars you’ll be bragging about seeing on the smaller stages, like Yolŋu surf rock stars King Stingray and the larger-than-life ‘slut-pop’ provocateur Big Wett. And we haven’t even mentioned the likes of Ferg, Jayda G, Mall Grab, DMA’S, Overmono… This is canny curation of the highest quality.

Podcast Stage, photo by Beyond The Valley
Podcast Stage. Credit: Beyond The Valley

Eclectic experiences to keep you guessing

BTV makes it a point to go above and beyond – which means that there’s heaps of fantastic extramusical experiences to complete your time at the fest. Yearning for a bit of pool time? Head to the Better Beer Beach Club and grab a pint while you’re at it. Itching for some retail therapy? Check out the Market Village. Want some food for thought? Be a fly on the wall at the Podcast Stage, which makes a splashy return after its well-received debut last year, and attend live and interactive recordings with a line-up of podcasters curated by The Daily Aus. Talk about the footy at The Mason Cox Show, contemplate community with Yarning Up First Nations Stories with Caroline Kell and get into Scheananigans with Vanderpump Rules personality Scheana Shay.

There’s tons more fun to be had too with Poof Doof, who’ve been curating iconic queer programming for BTV since 2018. Expect games and giveaways, drag performances from Jimi The Kween, Justin Teliqure and more, and even dance classes. Memorialise your BTV experience by booking a festival tat with Dylan Davis Tattoo – and if you’ve been meaning to tie the knot or renew your vows, why not do it at BTV with its pop-up inflatable wedding chapel? Remember to bring your own dress and suit…

Drag performance, photo by Beyond The Valley
Drag performance. Credit: Beyond The Valley

Rest, relax and recharge for 2024

When the final pyro fires and the last stage light powers down at Beyond The Valley, you’ll inevitably be dreading a return to the real world – and a whole new year. But you’ll be leaving only after having experienced the finest of BTV hospitality with its New Year’s Day Recovery program. For the first time, organisers will keep food, hydration and wellness activities open until 6pm on New Year’s Day so you can recover from the festivities before heading home.

Stretch or be stretched with yoga, pilates and massages – or commune with your fellow fest attendees with communal art activities or lawn games on the Main Street. If you’re in dire need of a straightforward lie-down, drop by the fruit and hydration station before commandeering a beanbag or hammock – or your corner of the pool at the Better Beer Beach Club.

And if the year has really run you ragged and you need that r’n’r before January 1, you can head to the Sanctuary throughout BTV for a plethora of fun and restorative activities. Get in touch with your body through yoga, pilates, dance classes, meditation, massages and breathwork – or exercise your mind with trivia and mindset coaching. You could even meet the love of your life at Beyond The Valley with its speed dating program. They do say ‘new year, new me’ after all…

Beyond The Valley takes place December 28, 2023 to January 1, 2024. Find out more about the line-up, stages and experiences on the official BTV website

 


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