Why This Year’s Lux Camp Will Be The Best Yet
Love the festival experience but cbf pitching that $20 Kmart tent you bought on the way to Beyond The Valley one year? Well, there’s this thing called glamping – or glamorous camping, you may have heard of it? – and the team at BTV are really stepping it up this year.
“This is the year we’re going all out,” says Mike Christidis, one of the directors of Beyond The Valley and the guy behind the festival’s appropriately titled Lux Camp. “There will be multiple communal areas, charge spots, hopefully a pool bar.”
Wait, what?! A pool bar? At a music festival?
“So we have three 12-metre shipping container pools all arranged in a U-shape. And what we’re trying to get through council is a bar in the middle. It’ll be a pool bar, essentially,” he explains.
Mike says the Lux Camp experiences are the first things that sell out when tickets go on sale for BTV. And to cope with demand they’re introducing the Deluxe Lux package for punters that really want to go “all-out” this year.
“It’s got a twin bed and mattress in there and a twin sofa, so it’s like having a festival experience in your home essentially,” says Mike. “It’s $500 a person, but if you break that down into four nights accommodation over the New Year’s period it’s actually quite cost effective. You can pay $250 per night for some glamping accommodation in the city.”
It’s safe to say Mike and the BTV team have taken glamping very seriously since starting the festival back at the old Phillip Island site in 2014. Back then they had a full service hangover spa, with a qualified masseuse and “30 minutes of hospital grade 100% oxygen”.
But over the years they’ve learned that it’s the creature comforts – a warm bed, hot showers, clean towels, fluffy pillows – that bring punters back to Lux Camp each year.
“For the first year we sold 58 packages. Last year there were 250 packages sold. That’s over 1000 people in that Lux Camp area,” Mike says.
So what’s driving the demand? “Punters have realised that paying that little bit extra means they can just enjoy the festival experience. They can arrive and everything is set up. They can go see the artists straight away.
“Not only that, but they’re the closest to the site. The best experience at Beyond The Valley is the Lux camp area. It’s really caught on how beneficial it is when you go that extra mile for the festival experience.”
24-HR CHECK AND CONCIERGE
The planning for Lux Camp begins about four months out from the festival, and Mike says the experience is not too dissimilar from booking an actual hotel. In fact the Lux area is so large now they actually need a hotel licence to operate.
“We have a 24-hour check-in and concierge service. We have a maintenance team that changes the sheets and gets rid of the stains.”
“Let’s just say they weren’t food stains,” Mike jokes.
The seven-person Lux Camp team are still accommodating bedding and tent configurations and requests right until the very end. At last year’s BTV, a couple broke up a few days before the festival. To add insult to injury they had booked a double bed.
“The girl showed up with her arms crossed and the guy wasn’t looking at her. They had just broken up and they needed two singles. We couldn’t make them sleep in the same bed, so we had to accommodate them.”
Mike says a lot of effort this year is going into creating a village feel in Lux Camp. He says the team take inspiration from festivals from around the world, including Melt in Germany, where they were blown away by the communal vibe.
“They created these amazing hubs and friendship groups,” he says. “Last year we did see a few renegade parties and we have to be mindful that for certain Lux campers it’s not their cup of tea. So this year we’re mindful of that and creating specific areas for people to come together. There’ll be a giant teepee, bar areas, charging spots, a ping pong table room.”
Any other surprises?
“We’re bringing back the DJ,” says Mike. “We had Thomas Jack and Bakermat playing a surprise set in Lux Camp in our first year, so expect some special guests.”
TICKETS ON SALE NOW.