Headf*cks And Highlights: Island Vibe’s Morgyn Quinn Spills On Organiser Life

Have you ever wondered how the“high vibration community” of Island Vibe keeps charged, year after year?

Allow us to introduce you to the man behind the magic: Morgyn Quinn.

After founding Island Vibe Festival in 2006, Morgyn and his band of ragamuffin pirates have been delivering world-class music and arts to the pristine beaches of North Stradbroke Island ever since, all the while keeping the environmental footprint to an absolute minimum.

Last week we interviewed Morgyn and experienced firsthand how harnesses his down to earth aura to “balance the admin headf*ck” that is festival organisation with immeasurable creativity.

What’s one thing you wish you could have told yourself many, many moons ago when you first started with Island Vibe?

Clear your schedule for the next 2 decades, lol!

How has Island Vibe changed over the years?

The festival has got larger and we’ve added an alcohol-free day dedicated to music and workshops and the Bamboo Bass stage hosted by Earth Frequency Festival. Yet in many ways, the underlying philosophy has remained the same. From the start, we have tried to be one of the most eco-friendly events in Australia and to be a welcoming space for all cultures, all ages and elder-friendly, 

What’s your favourite part of the whole event?

At the beginning, when the sound system switches ON, that just sends waves of calm through me. 

Favourite set over the years?

To choose one is pretty difficult, however, there was a moment in 2017 when UK dancehall stars Eva Lazarus and Chris Munky were playing the Lion Mane Stage in a raging storm and right at the crescendo of their biggest tune, a mighty bolt of lightning and peal of thunder shook the world asunder. The timing was ridiculously epic.

Who are you most excited to see this year?

Canadian soulstress Alysha Brilla, Bristol junglist Gardna and Havana Meets Kingston Soundsystem!

Why on earth don’t more QLD festivals utilise our beautiful beaches?

To get a prime event location, especially in earshot of residents, you have to have a supportive community. We are blessed to have an arts-loving progressive local council (Redlands), great relations with the QPS and the friendly community of Point Lookout. 

What’s one thing you wish people understood about your job?

It takes a lot of PR work in the community, making sure people feel heard and valued. I’m in constant communication with a pretty bizarre cross-section of society – from emergency services, health dept, councillors, government ministers to Vanuatan cultural leaders, world record-holding sword swallowers, stilt-walkers, Latin percussion ensembles, compost toilet builders, permaculturists, therapists and my own wild crew of piratey raggamuffins.

What drives you to keep going when you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed?

I get to be pretty creative in my job with Island Vibe, so I can balance the admin headf*ck with designing posters, stage sets, compiling the annual island Vibe record, or simply heading to Minjerribah for a ‘site visit’ (which involves much chilling on the beach!) 

If you could sum up the event in three words, what would they be?

High vibration community. 

What should the prepared punter bring to Island Vibe (and what should they definitely leave at home?!)

We are trying to eradicate single-use plastic, so bring a water bottle, use our wash-station at the festival food village, bring a sarong for the beach, a big funky shade hat and leave your cares and troubles back on the mainland.

Island Vibe is almost here, returning to the golden sands of Main Beach, North Stradbroke Island on 24 to 27 October. To escape the every-day and see this year’s talented lineup grab your tickets here!

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