One Day Can Change Everything. That is the theme for this year’s Mullum Music Festival PLAY Mullum Songwriting Competition that offers winners a chance to perform at the festival. Last year’s winner is Dan Hannaford, an old-fashioned working musician who plays his heart out in rooms up and down the coast.
What do you think festivals like Mullum Music do for the local music community?
I’ve been touring my music around Australia as well as overseas and, from my experiences so far, I can truly say that we have something unique in our local music community. I think Mullum Music Festival emphasises the depth and variety of talent we have here – it’s like a big exclamation mark on the local scene. I guess it takes what the locals already know and continues to promote what we have to a wider audience.
Is it possible do you think to build a national career while living regionally?
Yes, although it can depend on the individual artist. Some artists creatively thrive in a city environment while for others they need the space to think and create. Our small region’s being home to some of the biggest national music festivals provides an excellent platform for building local artist profiles. Byron Bay is a live music hub. There’s also a lot of other industry people (managers, promoters, producers etc) who now call this area home. The internet has given artists a worldwide platform to deliver their content; however, my best results have come from spending a lot of time gigging, on the road and many nights away from my family, which does come at a cost.
What are the challenges that you face as a musician?
Music is my full-time business so I’ve had to work really hard at it to provide for my family as a professional musician now for eight years. I pretty much do everything myself (bookings, accounts, sound and lighting, tour management / promotion, merchandising etc) so the challenges I face are often with time management in juggling family life with the business as well as performing the shows and the creative songwriting process.The song that won me the opportunity to perform at last year’s Mullum Music Festival is called PAYDAY, which is a working man’s protest song. I wrote it about the challenge I was faced with as a working musician trying to make a living and not getting paid for work that’s already been done.
Tell me a little about how you work up a song from an idea.
The birth of each song for me is pretty different. Conception usually starts with a single line (often the catalyst for the chorus) and I have learnt over the years a few techniques that usually see the song completed. There are, however, some unfinished songs I have been carrying for years that have yet to see the light of day. The way I work best is to record my initial ideas onto my phone when I get them (usually driving home from my gigs) and then I try to find time and space in my schedule to develop and expand on these thoughts and themes.
What should we expect from you at MMF?
A one-man band singing some songs and telling real stories from the road and beyond.
Dan Hannaford plays this year’s Mullum Music Festival (and he’s the featured performer at this years FedRocks Sat 7 Nov at Federal Hall). To enter PLAY Mullum, and to find out about who is playing, and to buy tix, go to mullummusicfestival.com.
Also, the YOUTH MENTORSHIP has extended one more week, with entries now being accepted up to 11 October. For information about that, go to the website.