WORDS ANNA RAWLINGS PHOTOS REBECCA SMITH
MAROOCHYDORE LOCAL DANE DUNNE JET SETS AROUND THE GLOBE IN THE PURSUIT OF THE HOTTEST MUSIC FESTIVALS, ALL IN THE NAME OF RESEARCH. ANNA RAWLINGS CAUGHT UP WITH THE EX-COUNCIL LIFEGUARD TURNED TOURISM ENTREPRENEUR TO CHAT ABOUT LIVING THE DREAM ON HIS ONE-WAY TICKET TO SUCCESS.
ane Dunne’s CV would list him as a music aficionado, businessman, events promoter and ex-lifeguard. And his current job description? Turning the passion of music lovers, wanderlustfilled travellers and the international music scene into a fusion of travel, adventure, music, unforgettable experiences and fun. Forget the tedious desk job or long-winded business conferences. Dane, as one of three key founders, owns and operates the uber-popular Entourage Tours, a job that sees him travel the world to scout incredible locations, designing the ultimate tours to the soundtrack of the international music festival arena. Since the launch of the business in 2009, the trio have gained a steady following of keen adventurers and party-lovers after being established by Dane and ‘good mate’ Kurt Murray. “I was a lifeguard and he was selling cars, and we just had the idea,” Dane says, casually. This laid back demeanour and easy-going charisma, evident as we chat at a Mooloolaba cafe, belies a savvy business sense. It’s the trait that led Dane to identify a niche in the market where he has made his mark as a keen tourism operator and events promoter. “We were the first to do tours to music festivals,” he says. “No-one else was doing it! We looked and looked for three months and couldn’t find another company that was taking anyone. After that we thought, let’s do it.” Now, almost six years on, they enjoy a long-term working relationship with the likes of hugely popular US music festival Coachella. And with multi-national tour operators now paying attention to this Aussie tourism group, Entourage Tours is set to become a global brand. Their success isn’t surprising, considering Dane’s early foray into the event promotion scene. Born and raised in Coolum, Dane grew up surrounded by the surf and beach culture of the Coast, living with his parents in the old Coolum Surf Life Saving clubhouse. His upbringing evidently made an impression on Dane, and he followed in his lifeguard father’s footsteps, upholding the tradition of saving lives between the red and yellow flags. Shortly after graduating from high school, Dane travelled as a lifeguard to the Greek Islands and Cornwall, before spending eight years patrolling beaches from Maroochydore to Mooloolaba Spit as a Sunshine Coast Council lifeguard. Simultaneously, Dane and some friends began running an events company in their early 20s, pumping new life into the Coast’s social scene. They were living the highlife, organising parties and events at local clubs and bars, and taking regular trips overseas, unknowingly giving Dane the perfect foundation for what would be his passport to pioneering his innovative tours. “A few boys and myself travelled around until I figured out I wanted to do this,” Dane says. “I was meant to go to uni but I never got around to it!” Instead of hitting the books, Dane carved out a niche for himself, channelling
Sunshine Coast Magazine featuring Corporate Lifestyle, Business, Local Profile Stories, Fashion & Life Advice.