Rouse St and beyond will come alive to the sounds of music in the new year, with state government funding secured for a micro music festival to from run from January 7-14.
Music mover-and-shaker Peter Harris spearheaded the submission to Create NSW’s Live and Local grant funding program, which resulted in Tenterfield Shire Council receiving close to $19,000 to mount the festival. Also jumping on the bandwagon are councils in Orange, Newcastle, Tweed Shire, Wagga Wagga, Kempsey, Armidale and Mudgee, all sharing the Live and Local $150,000 funding pot for 2017/18.
Locally the festival will take the form of a week of workshops for fledgling performers from January 7-12, exploring live recording, creating a music video, uploading to Youtube, public address system skills and performance skills. These will be supplemented by follow-up activities throughout the year.
The highlight of the festival will be in the main street on Saturday, January 13 with pop-up musos stationed at three locations along the main shopping precinct, along with more live music in Bruxner Park. The day will be capped by the Folk and Celtic Fusion Vidfest at the Tenterfield Cinema that evening from 6pm.
This will be the second installment of Mr Harris’s vidfest – screening music videos from top Australian performers – but this one will incorporate live music interludes, in keeping with the Live and Local theme.
Over the weekend from Friday to Sunday other venues will be encouraged to host their own celebration of the festival, potentially with added features like special menus or themed events. The festival will provide performers appropriate to the venue (a rock band for a pub, a soloist for a more intimate setting, for example).
Mr Harris is aiming to slowly rebuild Tenterfield’s live music scene by making these connections with local businesses, and showing patrons how a live performance can contribute to an enjoyable outing.
He feels that the age of music being delivered digitally – easily-accessed and often through headphones –can be isolating.
“Enjoyment and gratification are almost instantly available, and the concept of personally developing musical skills may seem much more onerous and difficult to access,” he said.
“People enjoy socialising over food, refreshment and shopping. So the idea of rebuilding music and performance skills and bringing them together with local venues offers a way to enrich shared experiences and regain valued social interaction.”
He hopes to foster a love of performing by providing opportunities to play music with others and perform in public, while having access to mentoring and relevant workshops. A novice event will also be staged for emerging musicians, school students, etc.
Member for Lismore Thomas George said Tenterfield will come alive as part of this government initiative to take micro music festivals to the bush for the first time.
“Council’s successful proposal outlined its plans for different styles of live musical performances from singer guitarists to rock bands, celtic music, brass bands and jazz,” he said.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said such events are a fantastic way of bringing local musicians and businesses together.
“It’ll benefit local retail and we might just unearth the next big thing in Australian music,” he said.