Dubbo could become regional NSW’s next live music destination, if a group of local musos have their way.
On Sunday the Songwriters and Original Musicians Association Dubbo Inc launched Under Western Skies, a “contemporary” music festival set in the idyllic, historic surrounds of Dundullimal Homestead.
Also making news: Peter and Janice Rigg-Smith win at Australian DanceSport Championships
SOMAD’s Fred Randell – lead guitarist for local band Civil Hands and Lust for Live organiser – said the March 16 event would start small, with plans to bring the community along with it as it grows.
“We’ve been kind of trying to cultivate the scene, and provide opportunities for original musos, provide them a platform and a place to perform,” Mr Randell said.
“It’s heartening to see music around town a lot more generally than we used to … music in places like Two Doors when people are having a meal and that’s what we want to see: music be a part of food, be a part of culture, be a part of art.
“We’re seeing people coming along to our acoustic gigs at the Black Box Theatre, ticketed gigs that would have been unheard of three years ago.
Also making news: Dubbo firefighters attended hay shed fire at Terramungamine
”We feel good about where the scene is at at the moment, but there’s still a lot of work to do to reach a wider audience in town and have music embedded in the social fabric.”
Nostalgic festivals like the Red Hot Summer Tour, and niche events such as Mirkwood Metalfest would always have a place, Mr Randell said.
But there was no reason Dubbo couldn’t have an event to rival Bathurst’s Inland Sea of Sound, Dunedoo’s Tunes on the Turf, Forbes’ Vanfest, or even the Hunter Valley’s Groovin the Moo.
“This is our chance for Dubbo to have a contemporary music festival that rivals all of the big ones,” Mr Randell said.
Early-bird tickets are now on sale, and applications are now open for acts as well as stallholders.
“It’s not just about the music, it’s about the festival vibe. It’s about creating an atmosphere that’s family-friendly with events for the kids,” Mr Randell said.
Also making news: River Street bridge option: two-thirds of Dubbo community against plan
“Music is a big part of it for sure, but it’s also about that sense of community and pope getting out and having a good time.
“If we want to be VanFest, if you want to be Groovin the Moo, this is our chance … let’s be a part of what Dubbo is producing culturally.”
For tickets, or to apply to feature a band or stall, visit the Under Western Skies website.