Loch Hart Music Festival is bringing Alpine, Didirri and more to a secluded pocket of Victoria

Loch Hart Music Festival is bringing Alpine, Didirri and more to a secluded pocket of Victoria

Words by Tammy Walters

This is your perfect weekend getaway.

Loch Hart Music Festival had a huge inaugural year in 2018, but it’s not only the acts it pulls to its stage that makes it stand out – it’s the heart of the festival that gives it its charm.

Operating out of the school campground of Kangaroobie Camp, just a stone’s throw from The Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge on Victoria’s iconic Great Ocean Road, Loch Hart Music Festival offers a picturesque backdrop to really set the scene. Take Sunset Point, for example, where you can watch the sun meet the water in a moment of pure bliss.

“It’s just the perfect location because it’s already scenic and made for events,” says Festival Founder and Director, Jayden Bath. “It’s very rare in Victoria that you can actually see the sunset on the ocean, because we’re in the south of Australia. We’re very fortunate.”

It’s these surreal moments that are the basis for the festival. Stemming from his wild university house party hosting days, Bath wanted to recreate the euphoria of being around friends listening to good music and getting completely lost in what’s happening, without it getting “ruined by dickheads”.

“The dream is to create an immersive weekend away. The experience you get is much more than seeing a couple of your favourite acts. It’s very much being out of your everyday normal life and in a stunning part of the world with a cool bunch of people in an absolutely amazing venue and really trying to capture that whole experience.”

Bath tries to maintain the no dickhead approach, curating all aspects of the festival to encourage positive behaviour – from the bands they book to their relationship with security, police and councils and even their BYO alcohol standpoint.

“You have to make sure that everything is designed to not encourage that dickhead behaviour. That starts when we start thinking about bands and bookings and goes right up to the day and how we brief security to act. It’s the little things that I think are embedded throughout a festival that really adds up to a good experience,” he says.

“When it’s BYO, it changes the culture of it so you can bring in what you want to drink, you can drink it in a relaxed environment and you don’t have to binge them, you don’t need to skull straight stuff. It has the opposite effect. Intuitively you think BYO encourages bad behaviour, but it’s the other way around.”

In their inaugural year, the festival received praise from the local police, council, security and the punters for behaviour and operations, with their post-festival survey receiving a 50 per cent response rate with 90 per cent saying that were very likely to return, speaking volumes for the festival.

That culture that Bath is trying to foster extends into their approach to sustainability. Last year, the festival staff didn’t have to clean up any rubbish post-event and this year, the festival aims to entirely eliminate single-use items.

“We are actually going to try to get rid of single-use anything. We’re going to have a whole station onsite with bowls, plates, forks and every food vendor is not allowed to use single-use items.

“We’re hoping with the culture shown last year that people will use them, return them, we wash them and dry them and return them for further use. Any plastic that does get thrown [out] will go into soft plastic recycling to turn that plastic into furniture that we will have on-site for 2020,” Bath explains.

Jayden Bath is definitely setting up Loch Hart Music Festival to be the benchmark for festival practice.

Loch Hart Music Festival comes to Kangaroobie Campground, Princetown from Friday November 15 until Sunday November 17. For tickets, the lineup and more info, head to the festival website.