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Five Quick Questions with Wax’o Paradiso

Simon Tarrant and Edd Fisher are the brilliant groovers behind one of Melbourne’s most exciting and enthralling party scenes,
Wax’o Paradiso Open Air.

Created in unconventional urban settings, the two have quickly built a solid following of music lovers and dancefloor devotees. As their parties grow, so do the conventions of the spaces that hold them.

In the new year, Simon Tarrant and Edd Fisher bring Wax’o back to enjoy an open-air event set to the backdrop of the Heritage Gardens at Abbotsford Convent.

What was the tipping point that made the idea of Wax’o Paradiso come to life?

Actually, Wax’o Paradiso started as an accident. We were asked to produce a record fair many moons ago, “Wax’o Paradiso” was the name of that event. Since then, it has just evolved organically, and we’re glad it did!

What are the key elements to a Wax’o Paradiso event?

Venue and sound. We only do a select few parties each year. They are always outdoors and always in venues that are somehow special. We rarely use existing music venues and prefer to bring lesser-used spaces to life. Sound quality is also very important. Over the years, we have used some gorgeous handmade sound systems to bring the music we love to life in the great outdoors.

Can you tell me the most significant takeaways from bringing music to unconventional places over the years?

We think the most significant takeaway is that it’s always worth the extra work to find that perfect and elusive marriage between space, production, music and people. Naarm/Melbourne is so blessed, with so many incredible music events year-round, that we prefer to do less but make sure that whenever we do throw a party—it’s special. Whether it’s making sure that our soundchecks don’t wake the baby goats in the Children’s Farm or disturbing weddings at the Fairfield Amphitheatre, there is always something unexpected that you don’t deal with in existing venues, but once you see people revelling and enjoying the space, it’s more than worth it!

Your events are primarily in public spaces. So I am curious, after two years of lockdowns and isolation, have you seen a shift in the culture, engagement and appreciation of live events?

Most definitely. Prior to the covid lockdowns, there was almost a saturation in live music events. Every week there were so many events being produced by talented and innovative creators that it was almost exhausting! 

Lockdown really made creators and the party going public take stock and realise how important a part of our lives these events are. In this new landscape, many hurdles have emerged regarding capacities, ticket prices, CovidSafe plans, etc. The tradeoff is a renewed appreciation and support from punters. Venues also are more eager to support the arts and are more open to more creative uses of their spaces.

You are returning to the Convent with your first and biggest party for 2022. What are your hopes for the new year?

Whilst we are throwing by far our biggest party to date, our aspirations for 2022 are humble, and we think this is probably indicative of the music industry as a whole. We have adapted and lost so much over the last two years. Even dancing with a few friends is a treat, let alone dancing with 1000 friends in a beautiful Heritage Garden!

More specifically, we have some exciting plans in store with our newly-launched record label Wax’o Paradiso Recordings, have a few more parties in the works, and are hoping to make it across the pond at some point for a long-overdue dance with our northern hemisphere pals.

Ok, there’s a cheeky 6th question—what jams have you been listening to in the new year?

  • Trevor Walters, You Make Me Feel—This has been on high rotation for us in lockdown. It’s a beautiful sun-drenched and earnest ballad. We could not love it more!

  • Santino Surfers, Keep Shining on You—A washed out, cosmic, fuzzy vocoder boogie. One for the AOR heads, sublime.

  • Afia Mala, Koma—This one has been a mainstay in our summer bags thus far. We hope you enjoy!