Over the past four days (Thu 20 – Sun 23 Nov) the village of Mullumbimby has opened its doors and welcomed a capacity crowd into its heart for four days of music, discovery and celebration at the 7th annual Mullum Music Festival. Happy Patrons filled the town’s halls, pubs, clubs and streets to soak up and soak in (30 degree heat and humidity to match) over 120 performances by a cornucopia of international, national and local acts.
‘We’re thrilled so many people came and experienced the festival this year. It’s hard to describe what makes Mullum Music Festival so unique because it is an experience, something you immerse yourself in. It’s a genuine meeting of artists and community and we thank everyone for making this year so special.’ Says Festival Director, Glenn Wright
Known for shining a light on emerging artists, Mullum is the kind of festival where you look at the program after the gig to find out who the performer was who just left your jaw on the floor.
Highlights included New Orleans based Hurray for The Riff Raff on her maiden voyage to Australia, cutting her teeth on two nights of ecstatic full houses at Mullum fest and left wondering how the rest of the tour was going to top it; Marlon Williams, the New Zealand ‘new Elvis’, who enthralled with his God-given voice and passionate yet humble persona in three standing ovation performances that he described as the best in his life (and hottest –“I used to be 85% water…not anymore”); beat-boxing poet rapper crooner CR Avery (“That was like going on a road trip with Waits, Dylan, Bukowski and Ice T” said one punter) also delighted in the festival as an enthusiastic punter often seen in deep conversation with other festival goers about one act or another they had just discovered; South African Bongeziwe Mabandla blending roots and folk with traditional Xhosa music as tasty as the slow cooked brisket from the Rhythms Mag BBQ being served up for free at the venue; Nai Palm with her powerful jazzy, chopped up chords and beautiful voice-as-rhythm solo performance and Alabama songstress Kristy Lee delivered a sucker punch to the heart of all who heard her, with some glorious harmonies from her friends The Hussy Hicks.
The more well-known acts on the festival line-up didn’t disappoint either – The Church rocked the jam packed high school with a blast of new and old songs while Husky transfixed a hall full of swoony teenagers, ending with an unplugged song from the floor with the audience joining in full voice. The Mullum Festival audience loves to sing. And dance. Which they did in big happy sweaty masses to the exuberant big band sounds of Saskwatch, Bustamento, Bullhorn, The Bombay Royale and Dubmarine. Meanwhile Mia Dyson, Frank Yamma, Nahko and Kim Churchill kept audiences spellbound.
When not enveloped in the different worlds of each venue, people roamed the busker-dotted streets, jumped on the psychedelic Magic Bus or sat on the grass, ate food from a delicious array of market stalls and were entertained by the Spaghetti Circus, Roundabout Theatre and a host of other free street performances. Even The (Christmas) Beetles came to town to party – in their tens of thousands – much to the amusement of many kids but perhaps not for the more critter phobic among us who were often seen doing the beetle dance, unhooking the little buggers from clothes and hair.
For a little town, Mullumbimby has a very big heart – the joyous mix of music and community that Mullum Music Festival brings made it beat a little stronger this year. Perhaps it was a sign from the heavens…even the Beetles love Mullum Music Festival
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