A motivated team of 15 locals have grabbed hold of a dream promoting home-spun music, to create their own festival ‘Grow Your Own’. As fledgling first time promoter Holly Rankin said, it’s time.
“I want every local band which has ever locally banded, to be able to eventually perform at this festival,” Holly said adamantly.
“If only we could have them all at once.
“It’s super hard for country artists to break it in the city, but what if you’re bringing the city to the country artists instead? … So often a lot of the musicians are from the country!”
As one herself, Holly realised her fate in founding Forster’s ‘Grow Your Own’ festival was unavoidable after a visit back home.
“There aren’t many opportunities for live music around here. I wanted to showcase the national success these bands are having that locals don’t know about.”
The result is seven hours worth of entertainment bringing together the visual, musical and media talent of the area for one evening of summer entertainment. It headlines Angus Stone as Dope Lemon, complemented by an array of performances by home-grown Great Lakes musos who can claim their own following either locally, nationally, or internationally.
It will be Stone’s first performance in the region after playing worldwide with Angus and Julia Stone. Now focusing on his solo record, he brings in an era of slow folk rock, Stone style.
Also performing will be Jack River aka Holly Rankin, currently on high rotation on Triple J, soon to set off touring with Stone.
The Ruiins from Tuncurry and Pacific Palms consists of Pat Sugden and Adam Dooker with regular spins on Triple J and an upcoming east coast tour.
Bungwahl’s Jake Meadows is a multi-instrumentalist with a solo EP who has played with the Angus and Julia Stone and Daniel Johns (Silverchair).
James Bennett - Port Macquarie and Forster - is a folk singer songwriter who recently supported Wendy Matthews.
Green Point’s Galleri is a six piece folk rock band fresh from playing Bellingen Festival.
Los Skallywaggs with the infamous Tyrell brothers and their mates were born out of a garage in Palms.
Similarly Vanilla Gorilla is the latest band to graduate from Great Lakes College claiming the hearts and ears of locals.
With staging and sound provided locally, artwork designed by former Tuncurry local Lee McConnell (Mambo art director), Holly is already planning to include local sustainable products for what she hopes will be a future annual event.
“One thing is convincing people you’re not crazy. I’ve had to convince the club, lots of local bodies, huge companies and agencies that Forster is a place that should be on the map, musically.”
Grow Your Own, Club Forster’s Backyard (neighbouring field), 4-11pm, December 23. Tickets on sale at www.growyourown.tv at 9am from Friday September 23. Limited earlybird tickets $45 / standard $55 / Patron $95 (seating at Danny’s with dinner included).