With the arrival of December the countdown started, 2016’s days were numbered, and the birth of a New Year was upon us. Like most people, the struggle to get everything sorted before the end of the year while organizing my New Years plans dawned on me.

Luckily, this year, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. For me Beyond The Valley was the only way to wash away the sins of 2016 and emerge into 2017 happy, carefree and with the people I cherished most.

As the days in December came and went I grew more and more ready to dance the year away. The morning of the 28th arrived, quicker then anticipated, and I shoved my bags into the boot, gathered my thoughts, prepared my self to camp–well glamp– and met the rest of my friends for the journey to Lardner.

Arriving at the sunny campgrounds with 10 others who would be co-glamping with me, the reality set in; this was going to be an epic New Years. The line-up had something for everyone to enjoy, the array of food catered to everyone’s needs, the vodka flowed and the music played day and night, the soundtrack of moments best shared with those you care the most about.

As the days turned into nights and the moments faded, the picturesque serenity of Lardner Park allowed me a few moments to reflect on the year that was and plan for the year that was about to be. The moments went by quickly and before I knew it we were planning on just how to ring the New Year in.

We walked down the dirt road towards the festival grounds, and as the music drew us in I caught a quick glance behind us of the array of people doing the same thing. The moment was upon us and we were intent on capturing it! Sticky Fingers took to the stage and the vast crowd cheered with excitement, we as a people now knew the countdown was on.

The moments drew closer and closer, and when the countdown started the crowd seemed to be glad to see 2016 go. With just seconds to go it didn’t take much to see how much love was in the air. Complete strangers arm-in-arm, friends and partners stealing their last kiss of the year that was, the inevitable hugging of the person next to you and wishing every person in your immediate space a Happy New Year. It’s hard for me to articulate the happiness of so many people partying together in unison unless you were there– but I’m sure you can imagine what it was like for 10,000 plus people to celebrate being there together to celebrate.

I’m not sure what this year will bring, but I am sure that in 12 months time I’ll be here ushering in 2018 in the most loving, fun and enjoyable way possible, just Beyond The Valley.

Photos by Brayden Smith