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Roadtrip Australia: Van-Tastic Tasmania - Dara & Catherine Americans Dara and Catherine embark on the ultimate Aussie roadtrip as they motor around Tasmania with Van-Tastic Adventures for six action-packed, free-wheeling weeks of adventure.


AUSTRALIA | Monday, 11 January 2010 | Views [1444]

The Falls Music and Arts Festival has two locations, the best one (in my opinion, though I've never been to Falls in Victoria) being just outside of Hobart at the beautiful Marion Bay. Dara and I were lucky enough to get VIP passes to this event and a chance to interview Helen Ransom, Operations Manager for The Falls Music and Arts Festival of Tasmania. Helen's involvement with the festival began by developing a relationship with the Festival Director and founder of The Falls Festival, Simon Daly, while working at her old job at a car rental place at the Lanceston Airport. Simon hired her for the first Falls of Marion Bay in 2003 organizing parking and she has worked her way up from there.

Helen's goal every year is to offer patrons a wonderful three day camping experience, a "journey away from the ordinary world" where everyone can "just have a really good relax". Helen and staff try to make Falls as diverse at possible with music, comedy, food and arts from around the world. She assured us, "there's always going to be something in the line up that people haven't seen before." She hopes that visitors are passionate about the experience they are getting and knows that most of us are. "It is a really magic sort of place, I mean not everyone can get here you know. I hope they understand that kind of magic that's being brought to them as well."

When we asked Helen to describe her favorite memory of Falls she reflected back to 2003 when 7.5 thousand people showed up for the first time, Michael Franti was headlining to bring in the New Year "and he put his big arms up in to the air as if to embrace the entire crowd and he said 'I've just traveled from the Northern tip of Scotland to the Southern tip of Tasmania and I feel that I'm in one of the most beautiful parts of the world. It was like he was giving everyone this most enormous hug and there were no clouds in the sky. It was a really starry night and it was magical and people still talk about it now, and if it wasn't so hot I think I'd have goose bumps now talking about it." I shared with Helen a similar experience I had with Michael Franti singing in the rain at the New Orleans Jazz Festival in 2008 and proving once again how small the world is, Helen had actually been there watching him in New Orleans at the same time as me.

I finished with asking Helen, "What would you say to a traveler that was in another country and considering coming to The Falls Festival in Tasmania? What would you want them to know?"

"Thats a really good question," she thought. "I would want them to know that they could come here expecting to discover a world that they hadn't ever experienced before and that's Tasmania as well. Traveling to Tasmania is something that not a lot of people do and it's a unique, beautiful little state and then we have this small, rebuilt town within that really beautiful state. So what I would want them to know is that they just need to come and be ready to embrace whatever they find here and really enjoy all the beauty and all the great people and all the music and arts that we have here. It might be a long journey, but it's certainly worth it. I think that, I mean, you would probably agree the people here are ridiculously gorgeous so, and thats a big big part of the festival."

Of course I agreed. "Dara and I have felt so lucky to be here, we've had such an amazing experience and the people have completely embraced us and opened their doors to us. It's incredible."

"Yea and I saw that the other night when you were kind of chatting to people," Helen noticed. "It's not like you're a novelty or something like that it's just like, 'Oh! Welcome to here where we are and let us share this with you!' So yea it's nice."

"It certainly is nice Helen. Thank you for having us."

"You're very welcome here you are really welcome. We've got people from all over the world here and that is so special for us as well to be able to embrace the traveler within you know and just have visitors from everywhere it's really lovely."

Dara and I have been to music festivals all over the world and neither of us have seen anything that compares to this. The backdrop of the ocean and mountains behind the main stage is unbelievable mixed with warmth and generosity of the people and diversity of the food, music and arts. This is one festival that should not be missed.


Tags: adventure, australia, campervan, festival, itinerary, party, road trip, tamania, travel, van-tastic adventures

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