Traveling in a post-pandemic world is different. It’s a little harder, a lot more expensive and oftentimes doesn’t even end up happening at all—and these are all things that the organisers of Burning Beach Festival considered when making the brave decision to move the event closer to their audience.
Burning Beach Festival has officially announced that it’s moving to Canna Bali, a new beach club opened in Nusa Dua. The choice of venue is rather strategic with it being perfectly positioned between Canggu, Seminyak, Uluwatu and Ubud—under an hour from any of these hubs—not to mention its idyllic Bali vibe. The venue itself is a hidden gem, sitting pretty along a pristine swathe of white-sand beach with plenty of space and home comforts, including a two-story nightclub that will house its after-hours agenda for us creatures of the night.
It has everything you need to feel tropical but luxurious: it’s easily accessible (even on a motorbike), there’s plenty of designated parking, direct beach access, swimming pools, lots of distance from neighbors (in terms of noise), heaps of shaded and sheltered areas, well-equipped kitchens and bars and all the utilities that are important for a large scale event like power, water, toilets…and solid floors.
Tickets are also a little more simplified and the VIP experience has been elevated thanks to multilevel terraces and balconies with private pools, additional shelter and tastily equipped lodges, live cooking and spectacular bird’s eye views of the entire event. There are also plenty more culinary options for dedicated food experiences, like fine dining-inspired spreads at the unique Cliff Restaurant or creative gastronomy curated by a famous Indonesian chef. There’s also a SuperVIP area tucked into an air-conditioned restaurant with direct access to an open-air deck with panoramic views and dinner personally prepared by Indonesian TV Chef Chandra Yudasswara.
There is little change to the takeovers, activations and collaborations—including ours—and there are a couple of additions to the overall line-up up that are flying in from Europe for the affair.
We talked to the organisers and got the scoop on all the changes, and why. Here's what you need to know:
From Lombok to Bali, what prompted the shift?
Lombok is our second home, and it was here where we started our fire! Lombok is popular for tourists looking for unspoiled nature and fewer crowds compared to Bali, but on the other hand, it's also being called the "new Bali" for its endless possibilities.
When we started Burning Beach Festival's campaign many months ago, we were more optimistic, based on our due diligence, regarding international and domestic flights to Lombok—this is a core foundation for the island's tourism development. So from the beginning, we targeted Bali and Java-based residents as our target audience. But now we're a few weeks out and there are actually fewer flights than we were assured. The prices have more than doubled from when we launched.
People loved the concept, but high travel costs, difficulties with international flight connections, and reservations about Lombok itself—with it being a new and lesser-developed island—was making everything difficult. So while we had so much positive feedback around the event and the line-up, but so many people were struggling with travel in a post-pandemic world, we landed on moving Burning Beach Festival closer to our audience.
What are some of the standout features of the new venue?
Canna Beach Club is a hidden gem in Nusa Dua, with a spectacular sea view and a white sand beach, which was crucial. We're sure that everybody will be positively surprised by this incredible location and the perfect view of the main stage from almost every corner of the venue. We've also added some extraordinary food options created by talented and famous Indonesian TV Chef Chandra Yudasswara. We now have take-away dishes all the way through to live cooking in the VIP area and even a fine dining experience at Cliff Restaurant on the top of the venue.
How does moving to Bali change the overall vibe and planning of the event for those who already have tickets and expectations?
To be honest, we don't feel that it does. We have chosen a part of the island in the south of Bali, partly because the rain is less heavy there but also because it's not a regular location for parties and events so we hope people will still get the excitement of heading somewhere new for the event.
Burning Beach Festival is our baby and we want to show it to the world! In Bali, more residents and tourists will now be able to enjoy the festival. This is one of the reasons why we extended one-day passes for GA, VIP and Super VIP—all available now on our website www.burningbeach.com.
Does the location shift also mean more artists?
The answer to that is yes, and no. There are not more DJs in number, but due to a couple of enforced changes, the line-up is slightly different and therefore includes some new additions like Darius Syrossian, which was a major coup for us so close to the event. Further to this, we also have booked one of the most talked about up-and-coming DJs in Europe right now—Ale De Tuglie from Italy is coming! We also have a couple more tricks up our sleeve too, but we can't talk about that right now...
Now that we’re on the topic of music, let’s dive into the program. The line-up doesn’t follow a normal approach to parties or events in Bali. What was the idea behind the music direction?
Well, what is the norm in Bali anyway? Certainly not programming three or four stages at one event, so that in itself was a challenge, especially with the changes we had to make with the aforementioned move. The philosophy was simple though, a festival dedicated to the world of house and techno. The line-up was curated to have the best of both these worlds at all times throughout the weekend, as opposed to having just a couple of headliners. We wanted a weekend full of headliners, and that’s what you’re gonna get!
The unspoiled island vision was nice. Are you leaving Lombok altogether?
As the founders, we are dreamers—but we are also organizers, and we have to be realistic. This idyllic vision of an unspoiled paradise and a large-scale event doesn't match so easily. There are many ways to organize a beach festival: one is on a desert island with underground vibes and niche artists, and the other is with world-renowned artists in a more accessible venue with more comfort to the DJs and the audience. Both are different festival experiences and different business models. In the end, the Island of the Gods offers easier and more affordable access for the DJs, while Lombok offers a piece of wilderness that many people look for in a destination festival.
We still believe that Burning Beach Festival can be organized in Lombok on one of its beautiful beaches—this is how we started with our smaller beach parties years ago. But we must recognize that the community of house and techno fans in Bali is huge, and we have already received positive feedback about our move. As you probably know, the pandemic has hugely changed event organization, tourism flow, traveling, and purchase decisions. Nowadays, all event organizers have to consider these factors and make the most sensible decision, which is what we ultimately did.
And to get some background on you guys, I don’t think this is your first event? What’s your history running events in Indonesia and beyond?
Our team is a typical Indonesian melting pot, or like we say here, nasi campur (rice mixed with all that you have) in terms of nationalities and experience across music and sports events. Personally, we have over 15 years of experience in marketing and events organization, including large-scale live music events and festivals, sports events, golf tournaments in Europe and more. We have been living in Indonesia for nearly ten years but for all of us involved in the festival's organization, Indonesia is definitely a challenge. But we have put together a great team and chose a great venue to make our dreams come true and to build a new solid brand on the Southeast Asia festival map.
Are there any more “surprises” in store between now and the doors opening?
Absolutely, we have a couple more little fires to reveal as we get closer to the event, which we will announce in the coming weeks.
We are also now offering single-day passes, and we have extended our Early Bird tickets until November 16 to give more time to those who could not come to Lombok. And without the travel costs, the savings make a big difference to people. We start the fire at 12 pm on Friday December 16, until 6 am, and then plan to continue from midday on Saturday until late…. very late!