The iconic Schoolies has grown up before our eyes from humble beginnings almost 30 years ago to a sophisticated entertainment event injecting approximately $48 million into the Gold Coast economy each year.
This year it showcases just how far it has come, with the Gold Coast’s biggest all age beach festival to take centre stage in the middle of Schoolies Week, drawing major corporate backing and thousands of new interstate students eager for a fun, safe time.
CEO for schoolies.com and former Sydney Swans AFL footballer Matt Lloyd said the launch of the Schoolies Nation Beach Festival last year, which is a partnership between schoolies.com and Gold Coast entertainment King Billy Cross, was a significant coming of age.
“It was the first time we had a signature event that had broad national appeal for Schoolies,’’ Mr Lloyd said.
“Now in its second year, major brands such as Australia’s largest independent dance music label Ministry of Sound have jumped on board, eager to be associated with its growing popularity,’’ he said.
Held in late November during week two of Schoolies Week at Surfers Paradise, the beach festival has attracted a wave of leading DJs and hip hop acts from Australia and New Zealand including Timmy Trumpet, SCNDL, Bombs Away, Savage, Brooke Evers, Odd Mobb, Komes and Jesabel with more exciting announcements coming soon.
The beach festival is part of Schoolies Tour – a seven-night extravaganza featuring 50-plus DJs across four stages including the Beach Stage and associated clubs.
Mr Lloyd said Schoolies Nation had filled a void with southern students who previously had limited entertainment during week two of the Gold Coast celebration.
“Previously with the State Government infrastructure only supporting week one of Schoolies, the options were limited for the interstate students who were pretty much left to entertain themselves.
“We’re really pleased to be turning things around and providing an event exclusively catering to interstate school leavers.”
Schoolies.com says an estimated 30,000 school leavers will attend Schoolies this year spending, on average, $1600 each comprising approximately $600 for accommodation and $1000 for entertainment, food and other items.
Schoolies.com itself contributes over $1.6 million annually on additional security patrols, 24 hour helpline for students, parents and property managers, exclusive Schoolies only events and more.
“An enormous amount of planning and effort goes into ensuring all relevant emergency and security staff are on site, making sure the event is an enjoyable experience not only for Schoolies but for local businesses and residents as well,’’ Mr Lloyd said.