Promoters Spill The Secrets On The Beyond The Valley 2017 Lineup
The first thing you need to know about the Beyond The Valley lineup is it never sleeps. “We have so many spots to fill over the festival that we are constantly booking right up until the flyer goes out,” says Nic Greco, one of the founders of BTV.
He’s not kidding either. Back in 2014, the lineup for the second BTV was all locked in until an 11th hour opportunity to book Jamie xx came out of nowhere. The entire team pulled an all-nighter, locking in their man just hours before the lineup dropped. “Luckily for my stress levels all our headliners were locked in nice and early for this year,” Nic jokes.
So how does a lineup featuring Schoolboy Q, The Presets, Matt Corby, Stormzy, Mura Masa and Stephan Bodzin, and many more, come together so seamlessly? Well, there’s this thing called the ‘rule of fives’, and it helps BTV promoters make sure every taste is catered to – from electronic to hip-hop, rock to indie. “We want a punter to see the lineup and be able to choose at least five artists that appeal to them, so that they are able to see value in the lineup,” says Nic.
Here are some other secrets:
The First Act Locked In Was…
Late Nite Tuff Guy. The vintage disco throwback has been racking up the spins on SoundCloud, and has turned the dancefloors of Lost Paradise, Rainbow Serpent, and Outsidein into Studio 54 love-ins. He’ll play the pivotal sunset slot at BTV. “After seeing some of his stellar sets at a few other festivals we knew we had to lock in him,” says Nic.
So what’s the vibe like in the BTV office when an artist gets confirmed? “Every confirmation makes us giddy,” he says. “The headliners are definitely a cause for celebration – there’s always a fair few vodka-lime-sodas on Saturday nights when we score the big ones.”
And speaking of big ones…
It Took An Entire Year To Lock In Schoolboy Q
The BTV team worked tirelessly to lock in Q, opening up discussions with his agent about a year ago. “He has such a huge fan base in this country and without him doing any shows in Victoria on his recent Splendour run most people would have missed out on catching him.”
Stormzy is another act who made a huge impression at Splendour, and word has definitely spread. The UK’s reigning prince of grime was one of the most requested acts from punters for this year’s BTV. “He’s is just the perfect festival artist and his live show is something else,” says Nic.
Stormzy and Q sit atop a diverse hip-hop program that features Princess Nokia and Victoria’s own Ivan Ooze, whose live set has gone to another level this year. “Hip-hop is such a strong piece of the BTV puzzle”, says Nic, “and we’ve been able to provide consistently strong hip-hop headliners year after year.”
Mura Masa And Nao Weren’t A Package Deal
The pair recently teamed up for a cover of Calvin Harris’ ‘Slide’, with Nao also featuring on ‘Firefly’ from Mura Masa’s self-titled debut. And while they’ll both be playing unforgettable sets in their own right, could a live collab be on the cards? “Little surprises are what make the BTV experience exciting.” Such a tease, Nic.
Aussie Acts Are Huge Drawcards
Believe it or not Aussie acts were once considered filler on festival bills, but times have changed and some of our local talent are bigger drawcards than their international counterparts. From Matt Corby to Meg Mac, Amy Shark to The Presets and Cut Copy, the BTV lineup is stacked with some big-name Australian talent.
Nic says the demand for local acts has never been higher. “I think it’s a really great thing when our local talent is on par with the talent from the rest of the world, and Australians realise this and want to see our artists on big festival stages.”
Locking In The Presets Was Pretty Personal
It’s been four years since The Presets toured Australia, and locking this dynamic Sydney duo in for BTV was pretty special for Nic and festival co-founder Mike Christidis. Mike’s first ever gig was a Presets show, while ‘My People’ was one of the first songs Nic remembers hearing when he started going out.
“As soon as we heard that The Presets will have new music out this year we knew that we had to have them play BTV,” he says. “They were a huge score for us this year and they’ll put on an unreal live show. They have so many classics that we all grew up with.”
Stephan Bodzin Will Get You In The Moog
The German producer has been massively influential in the global techno scene, but his futuristic live show and trademark “Bremen sound” is something to behold, especially when powered by BTV’s epic Funktion-One audio system. “I’ve always been a huge fan of Bodzin,” says Fil Palermo from BTV. “I know his Moog synthesiser and Ableton set up will both sound and look incredible on our dance stage.”
Other dance highlights include 2ManyDJs, Adana Twins, Andhim, a live set from Âme and local boy Harvey Sutherland and his “minimalist disco” band Bermuda. “I feel we always have a massive electronic music portion to BTV,” adds Nic. “Coming from a nightclub booking background this has always been one of our strengths.”
Bigger Doesn’t Always Mean Better
Discount lesser-known acts like Aussie house producer Dom Dolla at your peril. For the past four years, the Melbourne party machine has closed off BTV in style. 2017 will be no exception. “This year we are upping the production and making sure this is the closing set to close all sets,” says Nic.
Sometimes All The Hard Work Doesn’t Pay Off
The BTV team went to great lengths to sign a big artist for this year. And while it didn’t come off in the end, all that legwork wasn’t for nothing. “Fingers crossed for 2018,” Nic says.