Ever dreamed of going to US festivals like Ultra Music, Governors Ball, or Electic Daisy Carnival but had a bit of trouble wrapping your head around all that planning? Sweat Tours is a new boutique travel agency here to take care of the details, so you can focus on having the time of your life. We spoke with Sweat Tours Director Eli Akerlund to find out how a small group of people from Melbourne managed to get this huge project off the ground.
Akerlund once attended Benicassim in Spain, planting the seed of Sweat Tours for all the right and wrong reasons. Akerlund detailed that although the festival, located on the stunning Valencian coastline, was incredible, getting around was a different story altogether. “Driving down the highway with minimal signage was frustrating, our tickets were lost in the mail and the lady at the tickets collection agency in Spain spoke very minimal English- which further complicated things for us. I remember wishing the whole process was so much easier for foreigners, and so decided to do something about it.”
Although the agency is based in Melbourne, there’s no lack of international experience on hand. As Akerlund, currently based in The States for ease of coordination, described, their team – who all come from different backgrounds – “have collectively visited almost every country in the world” and have “attended over a hundred live music events over the past few years. So to say we are a passionate group of people would be an understatement.” That passion clearly serves Akerlund well, as she went on to enthuse “trying to coordinate people in different time zones can be challenging at times, but I absolutely love my job so you won’t hear complaints from me!”
“Sweat Tours would not have eventuated if it were not for all the amazing advice and help I have received from other start-up entrepreneurs, my friends, and family. I’ve been obsessed with the idea for a while now so I’m extremely excited to see it come to life.”
Have no mates to go with? Don’t ‘sweat’ it – you’ll be grouped with like-minded people between the ages of 21-35 (think Contiki for music festivals) while you see the best sights your chosen city has to offer. Sweat Tours‘ took the group travel approach not just because, as Akerlund enthuses, that “the festival experience is way better when spent with others,” but also for safety. “As a female, I’ve also always been hesitant to attend any festivals on my own due to safety concerns, so have spent a lot of time tailoring the tours to ensure the safety of the participants”
Akerland notes that “music festival travel isn’t a very well established industry,” and acknowledges that although there are other agencies that offer similar services, she is confident that the Sweat Tours‘ team have a point of difference – and with the unbridled enthusiasm of every word she says about the focus of her team, we don’t doubt it.
“We have worked really hard to make the quality of our tours higher, with a more extensive list of inclusions and very little time spent in transit. We also place significantly more emphasis on live music and the festival experience during our tours- as opposed to sightseeing or simply partying, which sets us apart from most other tour companies.”
Each festival package is different but all cover the basics like accommodation, meals, transit, tickets to various VIP club experiences, and, of course, tickets to your festival of choice. What’s not on offer is flights to and from the host country – all within good reason. “Our tours are only a week or so long and we have participants flying from all over the place, for varying lengths of time, on different dates etc, and so it would be impossible to include flights in our tour packages, there are simply too many variables.” Luckily, Akerland gave us the scoop on Sweat Tours‘ recent partnership with STA Travel “to offer all our tour participants flights and price-beat guarantee travel insurance, as well as packages that include pre and post tour accommodation and transfers” (offered separately from tour deals).
We tied up the chat with the most important, question – what makes an unforgettable festival experience? “We are all about the music baby! At the end of the day, even if the weather is terrible, you’re covered in mud, and there are ridiculously long lines for the toilets- if the music is loud, sound quality is high and the artist puts on a good show, we all forget about everything else and have a great time because that’s ultimately why we go. We live and breathe for live music #obsessed.” We’re with you there, Eli.
Sweat Tours‘ Ultra Music package has since sold out, but tickets for Governers Ball and Electric Daisy Carnival are still available. Check out all the details below:
ULTRA MUSIC FESTIVAL TOUR SOLD OUT
⎪ MIAMI, U.S.A. ⎪ 21+
GOVERNORS BALL TOUR
MAY 29-JUNE 5⎪ NEW YORK CITY, U.S.A. ⎪ 21+
Tickets available from Sweat Tours
ELECTRIC DAISY CARNIVAL (EDC) TOUR
JUNE 13-19⎪ LAS VEGAS, U.S.A. ⎪ 21+
Tickets available from Sweat Tours