There is a new festival on the scene and it is a big one! The inaugural Murwillumbah Country Roots Fest will take northern New South Wales by storm this October with an incredible line-up of some of the best country and roots artists on the Australian music scene today. Headlined by country sweetheart Kasey Chambers, with a stellar bill that includes the likes of The Audreys, Sara Storer, Shane Howard, Archie Roach, Busby Marou, Bill Chambers, Henry Wagons and Richard Clapton, to name a few, it is evident that the Murwillumbah Country Roots Fest will rapidly establish itself as a formidable force on the festival circuit.
Held across four days from October 2-5, with three stages and a massive 60 acts, there is something to delight audiences of all ages. The diversity of the musical acts will reach both ends of the country and roots spectrum, and will be mc’ed by Buddy Goode and Ben Sorensen. Other incredible artists on the line-up include The Flood, Pierce Brothers, Good Oak, The Davidson Brothers, Harry Hookey, James Blundell, Brothers 3, Greg Champion, Buddy Goode, The Wilson Pickers, Lyn Bowtell, Lou Bradley, Paul Green, A Woman’s Voice – The Ruby Hunter Project, Greg Storer, Melody Pool, Karl S. Williams and Lachlan Bryan.
To complete the incredible 60 acts, the festival also features appearances by Bob Corbett, Psycho Zydeco, Damien Howard, The Hillbilly Goats, Uncle Bob’s Jug Band, Caitlin Harnett, Warren Earl, Charm of Finches, Caitlyn Shadbolt, women in docs, Mid North, Garett Kato, Jimmy Dowling, Round Mountain Girls, Matt Cornell, Katie Brianna, Matt Henry, Jess Belle, Heartworn Highway, Sara Tindley, The Jay Seeney Band, The Company, Mustard Courage, Mr Cassidy, Gretta Ziller, Jemma Nicole, The Swamp Katz, Clelia Adams, Guy Kachel, Cadillac Rockers, The Curly Cousins, Richo’s Roundup, Caldera Country Music and more.
It is really no surprise that the Murwillumbah Country Roots Fest has such a coveted line-up for its debut event, after all, the brains behind the festival concept is a veteran of the Australian country music scene. Lou Bradley has been part of the scene for over 10 years, has released four albums and scored ARIA and Golden Guitar nominations and is fiercely passionate about the local industry. “Throughout my career as a writer and music lover, I have stood by what I believe is real music – music that has deep roots,” she says. “I’ve also been very lucky to build strong relationships with many artists along the way to share this love. That’s why I chose them to play at my festival.”
The festival embraces all kinds a great music, from mountain music, bluegrass, old time country, alt country, porch music, a bit of straight country and some old legends ‘chucked in’. It is an eclectic country roots event that leans left of the traditional festivals, set in the heart of an old school country town – in between Byron Bay, Nimbin and the Gold Coast – and surrounded by world heritage landscape.
One of the things that will set the Murwillumbah Country Roots Fest apart is that its line-up is 100 per cent proudly Australian. There are no international names on the line-up, it embraces and promotes the Australian music industry. “For such a long time now I have campaigned for and complained about how there isn’t enough scope for what I call real country music in the current country music industry in Australia,” says Lou. “I wanted to promote a festival that not only provided some of Australia’s best established and finest acts, but also catered for the acts that sit on the fringe and haven’t really fitted into the country mould. It is a festival that is about music first. All the artists that are on the bill are great singer-songwriters, they perform their own art. I want to be able to attract and provide for an audience that shares the same thing that I have been missing at festivals, then I want them to tell people for the next year when we do it all again. I want it to keep snowballing into a big warm and fuzzy festival that is all about real music and real artists.”
The Murwillumbah Country Roots Fest is held at the Murwillumbah Showgrounds in Murwillumbah NSW, 45-minutes north of Byron Bay and 45-minutes east of Nimbin. Day, weekend and four-day passes are available from www.MCRFest.com