Kandooma Maldives Music in Paradise

There simply is no other music event on earth this intimate, exclusive and idylic. Literally a private beach party.

 

Since launching in 2014, Perfect Travel Group’s Music in Paradise events have seen thousands of guests fly to the Maldives or Bali

to experience a week of resort accommodation, surfing and intimate concerts featuring the likes of Jimmy Barnes, Bernard Fanning, Hoodoo Gurus, Ian Moss, Diesel, Ocean Alley, The Living End, Xavier Rudd, Pete Murray, Tex Perkins, Phil Jamieson, Daryl Braithwaite, Richard Clapton, The Black Sorrows, Troy Cassar-Daley and Donovan Frankenreiter.

Xavier Rudd performing on the beach in the Maldives in 2022. He loved it, and is coming back in September 2023

Picture an idyllic small roof top bar, sun setting over the ocean,

Barnesy on stage belting out one of his many hits and a deliberately capped audience of 200 guests relaxing on bean bags, cocktails in hand, singing along. Everyone’s staying in the same resort, so chances are high the next morning you’ll bump into Barnesy at the breakfast buffet or having a crack at the waves with his family – after all, part of the attraction for the artists to attend, is the location.

kandooma resort maldives 2

Another of the idylic concert venues mentioned above…..the rooftop bar at Kandooma

Perfect Wave Travel’s marketing manager Ben Horvath, the curator of the unique concert series, said that all changed with the arrival of COVID. As local and international borders closed, international travel became a dream and State Premiers played games with mandates, the travel industry was taking a beating. Tours were cancelled, tickets refunded, credits were held over in the hope of rescheduling. The big question on everyone’s lips – how do we make money and pay the bills at a travel company – when it’s almost impossible for people to travel. With Aussie travellers, and performers, restricted in their movements, Ben and his hands-on CEO Jamie Gray turned their attention closer to home and started to work on ideas for an intimate music experience somewhere in Australia.

Breathtaking drone view of Daydream Island Resort.

Our Whitsundays venue

Working within the parameters of their existing format, they went searching for a location with the potential for great waves and a similar vibe to the laidback luxury of Kandooma Resort in the Maldives. “Initially we were thinking Stradbroke Island, it had the potential for surf, but there isn’t one resort quite big enough to cater for a coupla hundred guests and bands,” Ben said. Finding the right sort of experience to attract guests and artists led the team to Daydream Island in the Whitsundays.

Beautiful location – no waves.

“So, we took `surf’ out of the title and evolved the concept to become Music in Paradise instead,” Ben said. With a venue sorted, and a new concept to test, Ben said they started talking to Jimmy Barnes and his family about the chances of playing a few shows in the Whitsundays on the long weekend in June 2021. “The Barnes family and their entire management team have been unwavering friends to the business. They came on board and have helped us through the pandemic,” Ben said. “The popularity of Jimmy Barnes is amazing. His fans will travel thousands of kilometres to see him play.” And travel they did.

With Jimmy and Mahalia Barnes confirmed for performances over three nights, the marketing for the Long Weekend in the Whitsundays went out, and sold out, in a flash. With the concept proven and more great Australian musos keen to get involved, dates were set for August 2021 concerts featuring three nights of music by The Living End and Grinspoon front man Phil Jamieson – and another line up of Darryl Braithwaite and Richard Clapton. Another wave of COVID, another wave of date changes. The August shows were pushed back to November and December 2021 and then, finally, performed in May 2022.

The Living End Music in Paradise

The Living End ripping it up in the Whitsundays. what a blast and an incredible domestic winter escape

May 2022

While June 2021 will go down as the beginning of the Music in Paradise era, 2022 is likely to mark the time its foundation was most firmly laid – even if with the pesky bug continuing to have an impact. In May, Music in Paradise presented three events. Stranded in the Whitsundays, from May 16 to 20, was scheduled to feature Jimmy Barnes, Daryll Braithwaite and Richard Clapton. The show went ahead with Diesel and The Black Sorrows coming in as last minute replacements after Jimmy contracted COVID the night before he was due to fly to the Whitsundays and had to stay home and isolate.

The Black Sorrows

The Black Sorrows totally rockin last year’s Stranded event. They’re back in 2023

The Living End and Phill Jamieson finally got to play from May 21, and Ian Moss and Troy Cassar-Daley turned out from May 26, to top off three weeks of top Australian Music in Paradise. In even better news, the re-opening of borders, the boost of vaccination numbers and the return of international flights put the Maldives back on the agenda for late 2022, with Bali and Thailand on the horizon and plans already in place for Stranded II next winter in the Whitsundays.

Phil Jamieson

Phil Jamieson Whitsundays

For Ben, the key to the attractiveness and success of the events is creating a mini festival-like atmosphere for an audience of mainly 40+ music lovers, with more intimacy, more comforts, socializing with like-minded people and minus the drawbacks of a big festival in terms of weather, crowds of teenagers, police and party drugs. He said for the artists, the Music in Paradise gigs offered a chance for them to have a bit of a holiday, often with their families along for the ride, and to meet fans who have been willing to travel thousands of kilometres across the world to be part of the experience. Ben said, the change in title for the events, and the addition of the Whitsundays, Thailand and Fiji to the line-up of future venues presented an opportunity for the business to grow and reach out into new markets. “The thing we’ve learnt from getting to the shows – is that fans will travel,” he said. “Jimmy’s fans are so ironed on and loyal. They’ll travel to the Maldives to see him. People travelled from the UK, Europe, NZ, Australia to see the Hoodoo Gurus and we have plenty of Germans, Israelis and Americans coming to see Xavier Rudd.”

Late 2022 saw the much-anticipated return to the Maldives, featuring Xavier Rudd August 27 to 3 September and then Jimmy Barnes and Ian Moss from September 4 to 11 at Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma Maldives.

The line-up in 2023 was one of our biggest and best yet!

 

Birds of Tokyo Maldives 2023

Birds of Tokyo played 3 exclusive shows like no other at Kandooma Resort, Maldives.

Jimmy Barnes Stranded Whitsundays

Stranded in the Whitsundays II

This was an unforgettable, homegrown winter escape featuring the biggest and best line up MIP have ever assembled …an absolutely legendary bill of Australian Hall Of Fame Icons.

Jimmy Barnes, Ian Moss, Kate Ceberano, The Black Sorrows, and Mahalia Barnes and The Soul Mates are absolute legends of Australian popular music.

 

Delta Goodrem

Up Close And Personal With Australia’s Undisputed Queen Of Pop – Delta Goodrem. Delta absolutely rocked the Maldives in 2023 and we can’t wait for her 2024 gigs.

 

The Living End, Tex Perkins and Matt Walker – 4 incredibly personal gigs in the heart of the warm, sunny, tropical Maldives at beautiful Kandooma Resort.

 

Xavier Rudd Kandooma Maldives 2022 MIP

Follow The Sun To The Maldives with Xavier Rudd

In September 2023, we hosted XR at Kandooma in the Maldives. Xavier Rudd’s music, message, and the environment around him came together in stunning synchronicity over 3 incredibly individualistic sunset shows never to be forgotten. Warm water, chilled sunsets, cruisy righthanders and dancing barefoot.

 

Perfect waves and a perfect venue for Music In Paradise.

Author
Geoff Crockett

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