Region of FestivalFestivals in Regional NSW's
Mullumbimby Music Festival
Open date of FestivalThursday, 20 November 2014
Close date of festivalSunday, 23 November 2014
In 2008 the Mullumbimby Civic Hall was refurbished and renovated, enabling the building to once again be host for any kind of community event, and theatrical or musical performance. It also meant that along Dalley Street something very cool was organically happening under our noses. A premier venue on the north coast back in the 80's, the Ex Services was just across the road from the Civic Hall and a perfect rock and roll room. Further down the road there was a delightful hundred year old drill hall with perfect natural acoustics and the funkiest bolwing club one could image was just a little past that venue. With a little bit of imagination it was possible to vision an arts precinct. Mullum was ready for a music festival.
The inaugural events opening night in 2008 nearly didn't happen. A wild electrical storm threatened to halt the proceedings. Two of the three roads into Mullumbimby were cut off. Main Arm road had live electrical wires down and on the bridge into town. The only street that still had power was thankfully Dalley Street, the street that the festival takes place on. At 7:45pm the opening night was about to start and there were as few as 50 people. There was thunder and lightning and the rain was bucketing down.
To the credit of the locals who weren't going to miss out, the show went on, and there were many stories of local driving through flooded causeways and going the long way round to avoid fallen gum trees. By 8:30pm the venue was full. The night was a success and was talked about excitedly for a long time after.
Over the weekend the usually quiet little town came alive. The weather was beautiful and families from all over arrived to venue hop between the venues, checking out some awesome acts. It was over by 10:00pm on the Sunday and the next day seemed like it was all a dream. The town was left with a feeling of pure joy.
Since then many new spaces and existing venues have been added to the festival precinct. We have worked hard each year to present musically diverse and challenging programs and equally as hard to engage those attending with love and attention to the little details that make a bunch of concerts become a festival. These little things include -
- free concerts at popular Mullumbimby locations including the Mullum Growers Markets, Santos, and the Civic Hall cenotaph,
- the Sunday street parade from the Council Chambers to the Civic Hall,
- free street theatre and circus throughout the festival,
- a policy of a third local artist to foster the musical aspiration of the local northern rivers area,
- wonderful support from the Lismore Lantern Parade team, Lighten Up! (who light up our venues),
- an amazingly imaginative team of volunteers (including a number of film set designers that love to contribute) that decorate our classic venues each year,
- the transportation options of the Magic Bay and The Big Red Bus to make venue hopping just that little bit easier and more fun,
- a sustainability program including a sensible growth model and a yearly tree plant in Mullumbimby, sposnored by Uncle Tom's Pies - a local business,
- a Saturday morning workshop program that is truly word class,
- a free yoga class on the Saturday and Sunday of the festival,
- secret gigs,
- the inspirational Youth Mentorship program supported by Civil Team Engineering, and
- the Play Mullum song writing competition, sponsored by our good friends at Rhythms Magazine.