Fostering local and emerging talent from the grassroots is key for Falls Festival Byron Bay. Glenn Wright (director Mullum Music Festival) and Valley Lipcer (Roundabout Theatre) have carefully put together the local programming, which will make up a large part of the feel and experience of the festival.
Among the 100+ local performers and artists involved in the festival program will be the Arts Northern Rivers CONNECT musicians – The Black Lullaby, SupaFresh, Starboard Cannons, Andrea Soler, Sara Tindley and Shiny Shiny.
CONNECT is a music mentorship project developed by Arts Northern Rivers in partnership with Southern Cross University and funded by Arts NSW through the Regional Partnership program.
Developed to provide local musicians a career boost in the industry, the project individually matched seven bands and solo artists with leading music business professionals who acted as mentors throughout the program.
Seven took a few moments to speak to the artists about the project and being a part of Byron’s first Falls Festival…
Why did you apply for CONNECT?
Andrea Soler – ‘As a self-managed, independent artist I wanted to get some clear direction on my career goals, and to find out how I’d reach these goals.’
The Black Lullaby – ‘We wanted assistance with marketing ourselves better, including becoming more media savvy, and also how to access grants and other resources that will help us take the next step in our music careers.’
SupaFresh – ‘Our mentor has taught us so much in this short time; working in the studio he’s given us his constructive feedback and we’re learning the business side of things.’
Starboard Cannons – ‘Having someone whom we totally admire believing in us and what we do. We’re undergoing a complete overhaul of our outlook and kick-starting a whole new Cannons chapter!’
What does playing the inaugural Falls Festival Byron Bay mean to you?
SupaFresh – ‘It’s been a massive year for us. Being able to play Falls for its first year in Byron is a massive honour and we are so humbled to be apart of such an amazing lineup on Bundjalung country. It’s such a great feeling!’
Sara Tindley – ‘Really looking forward to playing Falls. Brandon Saul (Falls Festival Byron director) ran a beautiful festival in Byron in the early nineties (Byron Arts and Music Festival), so I’m hoping this has a similar vibe.’
Why should we see you at Falls – what will you bring to the stage?
Andrea Soler – ‘We’re bringing an upbeat, gypsy-flared, world music four-piece cracker of a band that will get you dancing, smiling and having a good time. In fact, it’s all about having a good time! See you at Falls!’
Shiny Shiny – ‘Our new show is totally kooked! It’s like watching a play, but all the narrative is told through electro tracks, AV projections, bright costumes and crazy choreography… and it’s all played through modified irons!’
CONNECT Artist bios
The Black Lullaby
With a debut EP firmly planted under their belt, The Black Lullaby recently released their second self-titled EP under the guidance of ARIA nominated producer Lachlan Mitchell (The Jezabels, The Whitlams). Blending gritty guitars, a solid rhythm section, and ethereal harmonies, the accomplished release saw the band score support shows with British India and The Trouble with Templeton.
Urban outfit SupaFresh bring original smooth hip-hop tunes with pop and R&B influences to the stage with soaring melodies and heavy-hitting rhymes. These Indigenous artists have performed alongside Casey Donovan, Justice Crew and supported the Yung Warriors on their national tour, before stealing the show at Worldstages Music Festival and Boomerang Music Festival.
With a style somewhere between the Scottish Highlands and the Aussie bush, it was the release of their debut album Somebody’s Opus co-produced by Jordan Power (Angus Stone, Powderfinger) that put Starboard Cannons on the map. Their songs move through super-fast bluegrass terrain, across the realm of haunting folk ballads and head-first into beer-spilling, shout-along sea shanty territory.
Sara is often referred to as the Patsy Cline of the northern rivers. An emotionally honest and poetic singer/songwriter who’s widely respected and adored. With three studio albums under her belt, listeners of Triple J’s Roots ’n’ All program may already be familiar with Sara’s blending of folk, soul and country stylings that characterise the eternal songs of Sara Tindley.
Born under the glow of the dancefloor mirror ball, Shiny Shiny blend a distinct brand of live electronic performance art to create an animated electro-cosm world. Dazzling audiences around the country, the girls have been described as a pre-pubescent Peaches, and emit sounds that glimmer of other electro mixers such as Crystal Castles.
Immersed in French folk music in a bohemian family, Andrea evokes the tradition of the troubadour with a beguiling joie de vivre through the realms of indie folk, roots and world music. Whether it’s an intimate solo show or a packed festival, Andrea exudes a warmth and charm that envelops an audience on a very genuine and intimate level.
Locals’ tickets for Falls Music & Arts Festival Byron Bay are available through www.fallsfestival.com.au.
Find this and many other great gigs in Echonetdaily’s North Coast Gig Guide.