Spotlight - Brett Louis - Sugar Mountain Festival

Brett Louis, Sugar Mountain Festival

Sugar Mountain is a boutique music festival held at Melbourne's Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) each January. Brett Louis, its charismatic founder, sat down with us to answer a few questions about how the festival came about, why he chose Melbourne, and what inspires him to continue.

Spotlight - Brett Louis - Sugar Mountain Festival
Spotlight - Brett Louis - Sugar Mountain Festival

Name: Brett Louis

Age: 30

Hometown: Melbourne

Where do you live now? Still here, not looking to be anywhere else.

Describe yourself in 3 words or less: Prefer not to.

Why Sugar Mountain? We needed a creative initiative that represented what we wanted in the marketplace - no one else was doing it. Overtime we have developed into so much more, now it’s about providing a completely curated experience - come for one or two elements and discover so much more.

And why Melbourne? It’s a culturally diverse city and it’s willing to celebrate progressive ideas.

Sugar Mountain is a ‘place for creativity to be absorbed and celebrated’ - where else do you go when you are looking for creative inspiration? I am personally pretty blessed, I don't have to look far at all - within the curatorial team there are blue sky attitudes and thinkers; otherwise looking locally or abroad for likeminded curators and their initiatives.

As an expert-festival-er, what three things should one pack for Sugar Mountain? a fully charged phone, a liver that is prepared and sunglasses!

And what should one drink? It must either have gin, or a garnish.

We loved the premiere of Sensory in 2016 (an immersive dining experience collaboratively crafted by Bomba (on food), visual artists Tin and Ed, and soundtracked by Cut Copy - how important is good food to you? Food is way more than fuel to me. Whether it be preparing, cooking or eating, it’s all about shared experiences.

Where is your favourite place (or give us your top 3!) to eat in Melbourne? Baby Pizza.

Best coffee spot? Cheerio on Lennox Street.

And drinking den? Much prefer a backyard.

What is the craziest thing you have seen go down at the festival? ohhh, many many things! It normally depends on how competitive everyone is back stage with the ping pong table!

Do punters pull out the costumes? And if so, what’s the best you’ve seen? We definitely get our fair share, I am all about the matching squad wear and always a tad confused by the full see-through numbers.

Favourite performance ever? At Sugar Mountain…Hot Chip closing the festival in 2016 ...... and favourite ever… is A Tribe Called Quest at Festival Hall back in 2010.

Spotlight - Brett Louis - Sugar Mountain Festival

How far out do you start planning for the next event? We don't ever stop, that is the nature of always growing and developing - many of the musical bookings are dictated by album cycles, so we can sometimes be in communication with them for over 18 months before anything actually gets locked in.

Any hints on who might be making the line-up this year? No hints, you are just going to have to trust us.

Will you take some time off in between - and if so, where is your next holiday? I’d love to take some time off in between, if not overseas (pretty unlikely for 2017) then it will have to be anywhere coastal.

On which holidays have you found the most creative inspiration? Anytime I have been able to mentality decompress, that involves turning everything off, I am able to think logically, laterally and creatively. I was able to head up to Byron mid-way through last year and it was the perfect tonic.

What are some of the quirky things you do when traveling? Nothing quirky, generally eat too much and become very indecisive.

What’s on your stereo? It's a real mixed bag, last 5 artists in my search history are: Nosaj Thing, Gil Scott-Heron, Black Lips, Jamie XX and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever.

What’s your favorite ’90s jam? 93 'til infinity - Souls of Mischief.

If you could join any band on stage for their set, who would it be? Steely Dan

Who is inspiring you right now? It would have to be a perfect mix between two special ladies – TJ (Louis' girlfriend) who is conquering all with onetwo agency and their amazing first twelve months, and my sister having a very, very cute little man, showing me that balance is essential and nothing is more important than being around loved ones.

On whether you Google yourself… probably not.

Winter or summer? Summer.

Pizza or pasta? Both.

Beer or wine? Wine.

City or nature? Nature, but with some city comforts (surely that's an option?).

If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why? Probably the household dog - as long as I get to sleep inside and eat regularly!

What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to open the batting for the Australian cricket team!

Words you live by… It's not supposed to be easy.