For any Australian music lover who’s lusted after the lineups offered on overseas music festivals, or gazed longingly at the photos of festival grounds halfway across the world, Eli Akerlund’s passion project Sweat Tours is here to make that fantasy a reality, and take the stress out of organising it too.
“We want to encourage and facilitate more young people to experience not just travel but music festivals abroad. Festival culture in Australia is different to that of what is seen overseas and we believe that Australians are missing out. With our tours, there are literally no excuses for people to miss out anymore.”
With accommodation and tickets included as part of the package – the only extra purchase needed is the flights – Sweat Tours provides guided travel tours to a variety of international music festivals, as well as some once-in-a-lifetime activities in the lead up to the music. Scenic flights across the Grand Canyon and over the New York skyline are just some of the culturally rich and exciting opportunities to be had on these tours.
“Although I’m super excited about the other activities, I’m obviously most excited about the festivals. I live and breathe for live music and have been to countless live shows/festivals and am now trying to make it my day job, any excuse.”
Akerlund’s passion for live music is palpable; it dances excitedly in her voice as she talks about Sweat Tours, and her own experiences travelling.
“My mother is from South America and as music and dance is intrinsic to Latin culture, I grew up listening to typical Latin music playing throughout the family home and have very fond memories of my mum and grandmother dancing in the house, with their faces lit up and laughing – so from an early age, music has always held a positive connotation for me.”
Notably, the tours are all available on a payment plan. Something that was very important to Akerlund in the business development.
“Travel itself can be quite expensive, so often that’s the reason people don’t do it, but then they miss out on creating memories, experiences that you’ll never forget. One of my main goals for the business was to create, for the people, very memorable experiences, once in a lifetime memories that they can cherish forever, and I think that a combination of live music and travel, you can’t get any better than that. Make it as achievable as possible.”
The idea of travelling overseas for a concert is incredibly daunting on the outset, and Akerlund is completely aware of this. Sweat Tours is about the love of the music, taking the stress out of the organising stage, and leaving more time to be swept up by music.
“There is this great quote by Michael Franti- ‘Music has the power to bring people together like no other art form’ and I couldn’t agree more. No matter what language someone speaks, what gender people are or identify with, or where someone comes from, music transcends all of these boundaries and is something everyone can enjoy.
“Music festivals provide the perfect platform for the gathering of music lovers – so combine this with travel, summer weather, new experiences and new friends and you have a recipe for the best time of your life. Personally, it sounds like a no-brainer.”
To make the tour easy to access, Akerlund has worked hard to make this idea a reality. The tour plans are a result of her own tireless testing and research.
“I take baby steps, I’m learning as I’m going. I’ve done lots and lots of research, I travelled so much in the process leading up to this. Looked at other tours to find what I liked, and came up with the formula of what I wanted for my business. And slowly, it’s come together.”
By Claire Varley