Rock on with music festival tours
MUSIC aficionado Dane Dunne knows how to mix business with pleasure.
For Dane, the pleasure is travel, seeing the world’s best bands, and partying along the way.
The business is tourism.
The young entrepreneur has gone into business with his best mate, Kurt Murray, running tours to international music festivals.
This year, The Entourage Takes U 2 will lead tours to the Coachella Music Festival in California and the Benicassim Festival on Spain’s east coast.
For a modern music fan, Coachella’s line-up alone – the Kings of Leon, Arcade Fire, Kanye West and the Strokes, among others – is enough to blow the shuffle off an iPod.
Dane, 26, of Mooloolaba, will clock off from his day job as a casual council lifeguard to help lead the tours, but is as enthusiastic as any of his passengers about what’s in store.
“Coachella is the biggest in the world, and brings together artists that you’re not going to get here at any festival,” he said.
ETU2 grew out of Dane and Kurt’s own enthusiasm for music and travel.
The two have been mates since high school. In 2005 and 2006, they packed in the daily routine and headed off overseas.
Their travels included Thailand, England, Wales, Spain, Portugal, Greece, the Middle East, Germany, Holland, France, the United States, Mexico, and of course, music festivals like Coachella.
The Entourage Takes U 2 is billed as “the modern alternative to Contiki”.
Like Contiki, ETU2’s tours are aimed at under-35s who want to leave home and its restrictions and expectations behind to let loose (think nude man dancing on a balcony 55 floors high in Vegas to Tone Lok).
ETU2’s tours cover tourist favourites such as the running with the bulls in Spain, or the Venice Beach markets in California, but are themed around the big music events.
“We’re aimed at a niche market,” Dane said.
He said that while music festivals in Australia had grown in size, numbers and popularity during the last 10 years, overseas festivals like Coachella and Benicassim were of another scale altogether.
Dane and Kurt “test drive” each tour to put together the transport and accommodation packages – one of the perks of the job – and share the role of tour guides, along with a couple of mates, which means they all have some room for play as well as work.
ETU2’s program for this year also includes a Bestival tour taking in the Isle of Wight, Amsterdam, and a dash of Oktoberfest.
Dane said he and Kurt were working on an east coast tour of Australia which would include Byron Bay, the Gold Coast, the Big Day Out festival and Noosa.
For info on The Entourage Takes You 2, go to www.etu2.com.