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Tourism board showers money on local music festival

L-R: Mullum Music Festival Director Glenn Wright, Festival General Manager Nino Haggith, musician Merryn Jeann, Ben Franklin MLC, Minister for Tourism Adam Marshall.
Photo credit Lyn McCarthy.

Mullum Music Festival has been recognized for its cultural and economic significance by being awarded flagship three-year funding by Destination NSW to help build the festival’s reach.

The Hon. Adam Marshall MP (Minister for Tourism and Major Events) and The Hon Ben Franklin (Parliamentary Secretary for Northern NSW) made the announcement on Friday morning at Mullumbimby’s Rock & Roll Coffee Company and were serenaded by local musician Merryn Jeann for their largesse.

Now in its 11th year, the family-friendly, affordable event takes place in more than 14 existing venues around Mullumbimby, including halls, pubs, clubs and streets.

Over the last decade, the festival has also developed a youth Mentorship Program where established artists on the bill mentor young up-and-coming musicians; a national songwriting competition where the winner gets to perform at the festival; and a New Orleans-style street parade.

Festival Director Glenn Wright said the benefits of the festival taking place in the town ‘flow on to local artists, local shops, and also to the bigger cultural picture of Mullumbimby as a unique regional town and counter culture hub’.

‘Mullum Music Festival has become an annual pilgrimage for music lovers from all over Australia, as well as overseas,’ Mr Wright said.

Mr Franklin said what was unique about the festival was that it ‘embraces the whole Mullumbimby community. World class artists can perform in already existing exceptional venues in town.’

‘This boutique Festival not only celebrates music but it also showcases the beautiful Mullumbimby community.’ Mr Franklin said.

According to Glenn Wright Mullum Music Festival’s biggest achievement over the last 10 years has been the discovery and support of artists of the future, the emerging acts.

‘In 2016 Mullum Music Festival was one of the first festivals to program Tash Sultana as a headliner, and in 2017 Mullum championed The Teskey Brothers. These acts are now playing on some of the biggest stages and biggest festivals nationally and internationally,’ he said.

‘There have also been incredible success stories from our Youth Mentorship Program – Merryn Jeann, Tora, The Parcels amongst them. We also continue to foster local talent by dedicating one-third of the program to local musicians.’

Harry James Angus of The Cat Empire, a festival regular, says he loves Mullum Music Festival’s ‘parades, its intimacy, its good taste and mad crowds. Why is it that so many artists that I first discovered on its stages have gone on to become superstars? How do they predict the future so consistently? ’

The egalitarian, community atmosphere of Mullum makes it a favourite festival for musicians to play.

‘Mullum is one of those extremely rare gems that manages to successfully tread the line between feeling like a community-based, grass-roots style event and being a professionally run festival that boasts top-shelf line-ups every year. And it’s due to an incredibly savvy and hardworking core team and a wider family who are all dedicated to providing the community with some of the best music the world has to offer in an amazing environment. It’s always so fun to play Mullum as a musician,’ said musician Liz Stringer.

‘The community of Mullumbimby embraces the festival and is in turn an integral part of it, the line between the imported participants and the locals is a very blurred one. And it’s this sensitivity to the community as well as a commitment to the unique aesthetic of Mullum that has seen it stay at the perfect size, just big enough to attract world class acts but small enough to be utterly intimate and accessible. I can’t wait to get back!’ said musician Suzannah Espie.

The line-up for the 2018 Mullum Music Festival (15 – 18 November) will be announced in July. Early Bird tickets are now on sale at www.mullummusicfestival.com

 


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