National Parks & Wildlife's Goat Island Sounds

Thursday, 11 Feb 2016

You wouldn’t expect a bunch of National Parks people to put together one of Sydney’s best Australia Day events, but with a stunning location only one kilometre from the famous Coathanger and room to roam on Sydney’s largest harbour island, the talented team pulled it off.

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) decided to create a boutique live music festival in the precinct surrounding the ‘Harbour Masters Lawn’ on Goat Island. In past lives, the island has been everything from a home for convict work gangs to a depot for explosives and even a water police station.

Elise McCaskie, NPWS Senior Events Coordinator, said,

“We were looking for ways to showcase Goat Island as a new and unique venue for events as well as promote national parks generally as ideal sites to stage music and festival events. Although we got the green light in November and the preparation was fast-tracked, it all went really well.”  

“We were eager to support up-and-coming Australian artists and make a connection to the Hottest 100, so I sourced artists getting love from triple j via their Unearthed website. I had been impressed with Kilter when he supported DJ Shadow last year and knew he was popular with that 18-plus audience. He was joined by Just A Gent, Ok Sure, Klue and LUEN who rocked the sandstone cliffs - to a crowd of 1,300.

“What would I not do again? I’d like to have longer to plan next time! It was challenging to make it happen that quickly. Our team had varied experience within the industry so we were aware of the need for an APRA AMCOS licence, and ticket sales were healthy right through, so that helped,” Elise said.

Fellow APRA AMCOS licensee Mary’s served their famous burgers on-site and for those with VIP tickets, Pretty Picnics provided gourmet hampers.

Elise’s tips:

  1. Get your APRA AMCOS music licence in place and ask for advice
  2. Book the right acts - if music is not your thing, find a booker
  3. Clearly advise guests what to bring (cash, shade tents, picnic blankets)
  4. Decide early on - All Ages or 18+
  5. Choose reliable suppliers who have their own fan base
  6. AV/PA needs to be water-tight - if production is not your thing, find a production company
  7. Develop clever and contemporary marketing
  8. Make sure your ticketing is simple

NSW National Parks & Wildlife Services manages 850 NSW national parks and reserves including many other Sydney Harbour Islands. 

Tags: upbeat
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