Karyna Royle On Taking The Leap And Creating New EDM Festival Strawberry Moon

25 May 2023 | 3:41 pm | Staff Writer

“This is most definitely a passion project for me, and as I build my brand in this industry, I want to demonstrate to music lovers that I am attempting to do something a little different."

Strawberry Moon Artists

Strawberry Moon Artists (Supplied)

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Over the last few years, the festival landscape has been tricky to navigate, with issues like extreme weather patterns, covid waves and overall gig anxiety canning more than a few supposedly mainstay events. However, the shakeup has allowed creative thinkers the space to test new and exciting festivals that previously wouldn’t have been feasible in an oversaturated market.

Karyna Royle, the founder of new EDM event Strawberry Moon Festival, has been watching for years from the sidelines before jumping into the deep end this year, hoping to bring a fresh new event to the EDM landscape. 

“I started my journey in the music industry in mid-2021. I’ve been a punter at hundreds of festivals and clubs all over the world, and it has always been a dream of mine to start my own brand and create events in the EDM industry.”

“Electronic music has been my passion since I was very young, I've tried to teach myself how to DJ, but I prefer to be on the dance floor.” She says. 

“Last year in October, we held our first launch party called berry juicy, and I was very fortunate to host international headliners Miss Monique, D-Nox & Beckers, supported by local Australian acts Thankyou City and Christian Kerr. We held our first event at the amazing Warehouse Nightclub in Brisbane, formerly the Family.”

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“It made sense to me to call our smaller launch parties berry juicy - as it’s the second half of the word strawberry - and the launch party for our main event Strawberry Moon Festival. We also held a second berry juicy launch party this March, and the international headlining artists were Anthony Pappa, BLANCAh, and NoNameLeft, who were supported by local Australian DJs Vorpal and Apro.”

Strawberry Moon Festival, taking place on June 3rd, will host an array of incredible EDM artists, from international superstars like Oliver Huntemann (EU) - who has replaced original USA headliner Danny Tenaglia, after he abruptly cancelled all overseas shows for the foreseeable future - to smaller local acts like Christian Kerr, Odd Mob and Quirk, to name a few. Royle handpicked the artists, as she notes, “I have the privilege to invite all of my favourite artists, and I’m so confident that people will be really excited about the lineup.”

“For example, Extrawelt are playing a live set, which will be a performance that no one will want to miss. They are incredibly talented, bring all their equipment, and do not use CDJs (Compact Disc Jockey). They were considered the ‘Best Live Act in 2014’ by Faze Magazine — not surprising considering their live act has been defining them for over a decade and leaving permanent impressions on audiences everywhere. 

“Each and every show is a chance to manipulate their sound in a flow of measured spontaneity — all while using equipment that most people would keep tucked away in their studio. The result is a live act focused on purism and great care in presenting the deepest core of their sound. In essence, exactly what sums up their musical galaxy.”

Set to kick off at Eatons Hill Hotel, the festival will run for twelve hours straight, starting at 12pm and going well into the night, providing Brisbane dance fiends with the perfect space to get their EDM fix. 

“My formula, so to speak, is to create a one-day festival that hosts artists you would generally see at a 3-day festival. It's not far from Brisbane, the venue itself is incredible, and tickets are very affordable.

“This is most definitely a passion project for me, and as I build my brand in this industry, I want to demonstrate to music lovers that I am attempting to do something a little different."

When Royle notes that she wants to build something different, the core of this starts at the festival's name, which is inspired by ancient traditions and the impact that astrology, culture and music have had on Royle’s life. The festival's website dedicates a full page to the astrological happenings surrounding the event so that you can connect with the spiritual side of the festival as well as the carefully curated music. 

“My favourite colour is red, and it has a lot of association with me. I live in Manly Harbour and am very fortunate that my house is in a position to see the full moon rise every month, and for the past five years in my current house, I have seen the red full moon rise, which is absolutely breathtaking. The Red Full Moon is also called the Strawberry Moon, and I believe that had a better ring to it that calling the festival Red Moon Festival.”

“The ‘Strawberry Moon’ name has been used by Native American Algonquian tribes that live in the northeastern United States, as well as the Ojibwe, Dakota, and Lakota peoples, to mark the ripening of ‘June-bearing’ strawberries that are ready to be gathered. The Haida term Berries Ripen Moon reflects this nature as well. As flowers bloom and early fruit ripens, June is a time of great abundance and change for many.

“So, my love of the full moon overall is what gave me the idea to name the festival Strawberry Moon Festival; it's a time of change and what better way to celebrate under this moon.”

You can purchase tickets and see more information about Strawberry Moon Festival here