Life running a boutique music festival : Subsonic
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Life running a boutique music festival : Subsonic

Sitting quietly beneath the giants of ‘festival season’ is the life of a boutique 4 day electronica celebration. Less commonly known by the masses, however secretly treasured by the Australian dance community is the rurally based Subsonic Music Festival. Located in the scenic valley of Barrington Tops of New South Wales, a lot of mystery shrouds the experience of this event.

To gain a further insight into how Subsonic has survived and grown, we spoke to Casey van Reyk, the head of media at Subsonic.

What was the original premise behind creating the festival?

Both Scott and Marco (the festival directors) had worked in the music industry for a few years and saw an opening in the Sydney area for a quality electronic music festival, especially one that ran over a few days and with stages going all day and night. The opportunity to use the Mountain Valley Resort was also too good to pass up as it’s an absolutely stunning location! It helps create the perfect balance between partying and relaxing, with luscious green surrounds and a lovely river to swim in. We basically wanted to create an affordable event that provided a community vibe, a welcoming atmosphere and great music. We also pride ourselves on having a huge local line up and providing a platform for Australian talent to be recognised.

How has the festival evolved over the years to the success that it is?

We still have a long way to go, but it’s the crowd that has really enabled us to evolve. We are still a relatively small festival but our numbers have grown significantly over the years, and the majority of that can be attributed to our loyal crowd spreading the good word. We don’t have a big marketing campaign and our advertising spend is very minimal. Thankfully, when people come to Subsonic and have a good time, they tell their friends!

What do you see for Subsonic in the future?

Ultimately the most important thing is getting the number of attendees up so we can keep growing, but we are also starting to focus more on the Subsonic Music label. It has been going for a few years, but 2013 will be the year that we really amp things up! We’ve got some great releases lined up so keep an eye out in the coming months.

Can you name your top moment at Subsonic while working at the festival over the last few years?

For me, it’s all about Friday night! Everyone is so excited to finally get there and Friday night is buzzing with people ready to let loose for a few days. The atmosphere is pretty damn special! I can’t pick just one Friday night as they have all been great. I hope this Friday is no different! In terms of working at the festival, there was a point last year where myself, Scott (Festival Director) and Laura (all round Subsonic legend who does everything!) were cleaning toilets as there was noone else to do it, and although it sounds bizzarre, it was a really nice moment. It made me realise what an awesome crew of people we have, who are willing to get their hands dirty and help each other out. I doubt there is many other festivals or events where you’d find the Festival Director cleaning toilets.

If this has inflamed your senses, and you enjoy acts such as Worthy, Christian Martin or Catz N Dogz, there is still time to buy tickets. For the full line up please click here!

The Festival runs from the 7th of December until the 10th 2012


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