The Hunt for Summer Gigs
2020 has been a challenging time for musicians. One of the industries hardest hit by the ‘social distancing, no dancing and reduced numbers’ Public Health rules that have killed off core aspects of the business.
Musician and all round powerhouse Lisa Hunt decided that it was an opportunity to innovate the way musicians present, and so she’s come up with a dynamic program for Byron Bay – Summerstage in Byron. Set at the Red Devil Park, this also gives Byron Rugby a chance to have one of the 52 events they are licensed to hold each year. In 2020 they’ve held none.
‘We have been locked down’ says Lisa. ‘I wanted to find a new way to go back [to what we had] that was safe. And this seemed like a really safe way to do things; we are outside on picnic blankets where we have enough room to spread out.’
Lisa has modelled Summerstage on what has been happening elsewhere – with the outdoor setting offering an alternative to indoor venues, thus enhancing the ability to embrace COVID Safe practices.
Kicking off on Friday 18 December and rolling through every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until 14 February – this gives artists in the region a chance to work their home town, and visiting artists also get to drop in on the closest thing they will get to a festival gig this summer!
Hunt’s first foray into event management came from a necessity to perform again – facing the harsh reality of a declining live music industry, she began to dream of getting a boutique festival up and running. Operating out of Red Devil Park, the venue is able to host a crowd of up to 500 whilst adhering to a COVID Safe plan.
The opening weekend will feature renowned artists The Beautiful Girls, Phil Jamieson (Grinspoon) supported by Sophie Ozard, Andy Jans Brown, and Lisa Hunt, with further artists to be announced shortly. This has been a labour of love for Lisa who has worked tirelessly to ensure Council and community are on board and safety protocols are met.
‘I have been working with the festival director for the Caloundra festival – Richie Eyeles – to create the program and the architecture of how it will work,’ says Lisa.
Don’t miss Lisa’s grand return to gigging after ten months in the shade.
‘I will be there on the Sunday with Sharny Russell, opening up with her tribute to Ella Fitzgerald.’
Make sure you don’t miss out on tickets to enjoy music in the great outdoors in picnic circles.
For tickets and further information about the original festival series visit summerstagebyronbay.com.au.