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Mija speaks with Your Paradise founders on community, challenges and the magic of Fiji

Discussions about the inner workings of the getaway festival

  • Valerie Lee
  • 11 October 2018

Your Paradise was created by a group of passionate party people who were determined to bring something unique and special to Fiji. The founders group, made up of Dominic Furber, Steve Pillemer, Ignacio Garcia, Daniel Farley and Hadi J, come from a varied background of promoters, event organizers, nightclub owners and beyond from across Australia and New Zealand.

It takes the combined amount of painstaking care and experience from Dominic Furber, Daniel Farley, Steve Pillemer, Ignacio and Hadi J to pull off an idyllic event that's as carefree and impactful as Your Paradise, each and every year.

Alumni artist Mija sat down with the group of founders to discuss some of her curiosities about the festival, including the concept, challenges and future plans ahead.

Find out what other alumni artists like Skrillex, What So Not, Doorly and more have to say about Your Paradise here

This year, catch Patrick Topping, What So Not, Mija, Fisher, Nora En Pure and more at Your Paradise from December 7 through 13. Find info and tickets here.

Mija: The festival is a very unique experience. How did you first come up with the idea for Your Paradise? Why Fiji?

Dominic Furber: All the partners came from promoter backgrounds before we started Your Paradise. We’d heard of people doing events in unique locations like Fiji, but nothing quite at the level we thought the concept deserved. That’s what inspired us to launch Your Paradise in order to provide something completely different than the festival experiences already offer.

We’re not reinventing the wheel, as destination festivals have been around for years, but nothing like this had been done in Fiji, or even globally. We’re planning to take Your Paradise to other locations, however, we’re not prepared to go where there are pre-existing promoters, with artists we target. That’s the great thing about Fiji – it’s literally an untouched paradise and allows us to create something that feels really unique.

Having the support from local tourism and government bodies was a key factor in choosing Fiji. There is a rich cultural and activity-filled side to Your Paradise in Fiji, including day trips to the villages - which some of our performing artists attend - with some visiting local schools whilst they are there.

Mija: What are some challenges you had to overcome to make Your Paradise what it is today?

Hadi J and Ignacio Garcia: As an international destination festival on a remote island, most of our challenges are of a logistical nature. Our current event program and schedule took a number of years to polish, ensuring every guest gets on the right flights and everyone makes it to the event and back home safely. This seems like a very basic thing for most events, but for us it’s a big part of the experience itself.

Creating the sentiment across the globe that this is a real event in Fiji and helping music lovers realize they too, can be a part of it. This is always a challenge as the event can seem unreal or unattainable to many. We have successfully delivered the experience for five years now, and a lot of people don’t know that.

Mija: What’s your favourite / most memorable performance at Your Paradise from over the years?

Hadi J and Ignacio Garcia: There has been quite a few, so it’s hard to choose one. Each year generates a significant number of memorable moments. One year Skrillex was meant to play a 1 hour set closing [the] main stage but ended up playing until 4am! We went outside of our permit during his set and even witnessed a proposal. Sonny shouted [and bought] the entire crowd a round of drinks... everyone still talks about that day, it was pretty special.

Mija: How have you seen it change from year to year? Anything that surprised you?

Hadi J and Ignacio Garcia: What has surprised us the most is how strong [of] a community Your Paradise has fostered. The family continues to expand and grow stronger with each year.

We see a large number of guests returning from all corners of the globe, to continue their adventures and to create new memories with their extensive Your Paradise family. Some guests have even been known to book group packages with friends that they made at the event the year before!

Mija: What is your favourite thing to do in Fiji, outside of being at Your Paradise? Is there anything I should explore in my free time?

Daniel Farley: This is such a hard one to answer as there is SO much else [Fiji] offers, other than the music. You can hike the beautiful island, go for a bush walk and explore, take a surf trip out to Cloud Break (which is one of the best spots in the world), go snorkeling, or just kick back and chill with a cocktail in the warm water all day! The experience is unique for everyone, it has something for beach bums and adrenaline junkies and everything in between!

[Photos: My Media Sydney]

This year, catch Patrick Topping, What So Not, Mija, Fisher, Nora En Pure and more at Your Paradise from December 7 through 13. Find info and tickets here.

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