Given the hefty backlash copped by Lost Picnic's 2017 edition in Sydney, you'd be forgiven for thinking the boutique festival might not live to see another day. But organisers have announced the event will return this October, promising to address last year's raft of issues and even throwing a debut Melbourne date into the mix.
Taking over the Nursery at Flemington Racecourse on October 7, Lost Picnic 2018 is out to dish up a family-friendly serve of live entertainment and top local eats. Taking the stage this year will be legendary young-gun Tash Sultana, off the back of releasing her debut album, joined by Meg Mac, New Zealand singer-songwriter Marlon Williams, Sydney's Odette and brass ten-piece Hot Potato Band. A finely-tuned food offering will include Burn City Smokers and Pho Nom.
Lost Picnic's last outing suffered more than a few hiccups, with punters complaining of lengthy wait times, food and drink stalls running out of stock early, and a somewhat disastrous forced recycling system.
But this time around, Simon Beckingham — co-founder of Finely Tuned, the group that organises both Lost Picnic and NYE bash Lost Paradise — says festival goers can expect a much smoother affair. "Since last year's event wrapped up, we have been working hard to vastly improve the customer experience for 2018," he told Concrete Playground. After taking "all feedback on board", Beckingham had confirmed that there will be double the food stalls and an increased number of toilets, bar staff and tills — and those keen to skip the food queues altogether will be able to bring in their own picnic snacks. It's unclear if the capacity of the festival has been reduced or not.
And instead of last year's compulsory recycling system, which forced punters to put down a $1 deposit for cups and then line up again to get a refund, there'll be a more user-friendly $10 cash-back incentive for those recycling their empty wine bottles.
Tickets are going for the same price — $89 a pop — so here's hoping all the changes make the ticket price worth it.