On the June long weekend I was invited to perform at Wintersun. Australia’s oldest running nostalgia festival. It was the first time I had played at the festival since it has moved from it’s original home at Coolangatta. With the Cooly Rocks festival still being held there over the same weekend I was curious to see how different the festival would be and how greatly the change of location would affect the attendance and the general feel of the event.
This year the festival was held in sunny Coffs Harbour and we were actually lucky to have a few lovely days of winter sun before the rain set in. I even found time to take a spin on the dodgem cars a moment that was captured by the brilliant Louise Whelan.
I played the festival as a 4 piece combo with my favourite Lonesome Playboys Eric Rasmussen and Artie Taylor , 7 sets of music over 2 days. That’s a whole lot of songs. We were lucky enough to have two wonderful drummers sit in with us for the gigs. Mick Buckley (Radiators / The Yeeha Boys ) and sensational player Matt Hanson ( Rusty Pinto / Johnny Law )
As I was working for much of my time there I didn’t get to see many of the other bands playing their gigs but it was lovely to catch up with so many interstate musician friends after hours.
Unfortunately Coffs Harbour has a midnight lock out so you can’t get in to any venues after midnight, so one night the catch up was literally chatting on a street corner. The only entertainment available a local kebab shop and a 1am falafel.
It was hard for me to get a feel of the entire event because of my singing commitments but the feedback I got from friends and people I met was that the festival had lost much of it’s appeal.
The beauty of Coolangatta meant that everything was pretty much in walking distance from your accommodation. It was easy to see all the bands that you wanted to see even if they were playing at different venues. In comparison to previous Wintersun festivals I had performed at and been to , this years seemed to have lost it’s energy.
I will be very interested to see which town will play host to next years festival and i’ll cross my fingers that it is somewhere which will excite the masses , encouraging people to come out and support live music and the celebration of vintage culture.