I haven’t actually blogged before but my sister (the marketing brain), she has told me to jot some things down and in particular, how and why Handpicked was born. She thinks it’s a cool story…and you know what, maybe it is?
So my childhood was spent on what we all know as a huge communal farm, a literal hop, skip and a jump (and a few vineyard filled acres) in between us all. During the flood seasons, my cousins and I would build rafts (or wakeboards!) and row to each others place through the vineyards. It’s no lie…catch this video below of my brothers and cousins wakeboarding in the vines last October!
The home of Handpicked has been interesting with all this rain, but this by far has been the MOST interesting. Check out our local Langhorne Creek boys ripping it up on our Handpicked Festival site. Sunshine is due tomorrow to dry it all up. Tickets and info at www.handpickedfestival.com #lakebreezewines #floods #rippingitup #locals #somuchwater #boyswillbeboys #homeofhandpicked music credit// Mickey Valen feat. Noe
Posted by Handpicked Festival on Sunday, 2 October 2016
My family are vignerons, growing grapes for the last 130 years and now, since 1987, making wine and running Lake Breeze Winery. So yes, I may have been one of those children who tasted alcohol at at young age…but all for the respect of the art of course! Anyway, after working in marketing, retail and events all over Australia and enjoying a touch of travel, I’ve come home and proudly work at Lake Breeze Wines with my family as Restaurant, Events & Cellar Door Manager & The Official Dreamer Manager (I know it’s wordy!).
So Official Dreamer Manager….that’s a real thing right? I’m running with it anyway! That part of my role is where The Handpicked Festival came from. I had come home after a few years living away and realised just how much I love Langhorne Creek and how it would be wonderful if more people got to experience it. So while strolling around the vineyard with my Uncle Roger (aka. Senior Official Dreamer Manager) we were talking this through and the conversation went pretty much like this…
… why don’t we have a Music Festival in our backyard?”
Being Senior Official Dreamer Manager his response went like this…
…hmm…could we have Pink Floyd!?”
(see…Senior Official Dreamer!)
We had the nay-sayers…in fact my family are so used to me coming up with random big dreams that I actually think when alot of them first heard the plan it went in one ear and out the other. But this time I was determined to make it happen..and I did.
Gosh it was hard, and it still is. The road has been tough, I’ve hit obstacle after obstacle (like who knew how many portable loos 3000 people need!?), I’ve had artists pull out at the last minute, gail force winds, insane diva requests for exotic fruit?, a shortage of beer and I have dead set run out of money! Although having worked in marketing and events before, I feel like I’ve been in a constant state of learning for the last 3 years…the music industry is tough and can be mean guys!
But anyone that knows me will know that Handpicked is my baby and I’ve never had a passion or a dream I’ve wanted to work so hard at before. It’s an honest, true blue, “find something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” (oh and have a super, dooper, supportive family helps too!)
I do have to give a little plug and appreciation message to that ‘Senior Official Dreamer Uncle Roger’. Two peas in a pod we are and without him and his support and constant encouragement to “Go Big, or Go Home Kate” – Handpicked would not have got to where it is today. So that’s exactly what we did – we stopped talking about a casual 200 people in our backyard and acoustic local acts and aimed for the stars! And with that came Jessica Mauboy, Sheppard and Thirsty Merc…oh and 3,500 people!!
So now, 3 years in – the beginnings all seem like a distant memory and an unrealistic dream…only turns out it wasn’t!