Text Chris Dobney, photos Jeff Dawson, video Andrew Crockett
While schoolies and police took over Byron Bay on the weekend, the community came out to play in Mullumbimby. And so did dozens and dozens of great performers and musicians from all over the world.
Headliner Lior had crowds mesmerised at the opening night and at his second full-length performance at the Civic Hall on Friday.
Other great acts this writer saw included: Tina Harrod playing tracks from her new album, post modern-yodeller Olympia, perennial jester Matt Anderson, the hilarious and extraordinary Tek Tek Orchestra, Victoria’s best kept secret Sal Kimber, and the aptly named Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer.
To cap all off, the hugely energetic Old School Funk Band wrapped up the festival at the High School hall on Sunday night with guest artist and festival patron Susannah Espie in tow.
The streets of Mullumbimby were alive with buskers, dances, fire twirlers, jewellery sellers and lots of people simply soaking up the atmosphere.
While we slept through Sunday’s big parade, it was reportedly one of the highlights of the weekend, with the big brass band ensuring no one in its path missed out on experiencing it.
Echonetdaily’s Mandy Nolan, who has been involved with the festival since its inception nine years ago, said this was the biggest and best ever. She had nothing but praise for the Mullumbimby locals, who gladly turn over their town for a weekend every year to become one big humming musical venue.
All credit to festival director Glenn Wright, who first saw the potential for the event and has brought it to fruition year after year, while a fully functioning little country town continues to go about its business around it.