If you haven’t been to Mullumbimby then you’re seriously missing out, it’s a beautiful and quaint town situated on the outskirts of the Northern Rivers NSW.
This country town is full of life and local talent and the annual Mullum Music Festival, which this year ran 21 – 24 November, brings it together with an array of people of all ages, backgrounds and interests.
On Friday 21 November I headed down the coast to experience the unique festival. I didn’t really have much of an idea of what this festival would be like as the venues weren’t tents like regular music festivals, they were in fact the local school hall, the pub and even the bowling club.
Walking the streets, the vibe was purely positive and everybody was beaming, you couldn’t help but smile. To kick off the festival was sister duo Siskin River, from the NSW town of Grafton. People just piled into the bowling club to escape the heat, groups of locals enjoying a cold beer on the beautiful afternoon. Siskin River blessed the crowd with their harmonies and blues sound, involving the crowd and inviting the musicians such as Nicky Bomba to join them. These ladies have been on the road gigging around for two years and just recently released their album, The Hours They Keep.
There’s been such hype about five piece Byron band, Tora, so we had to catch their afternoon set at the Mullumbimby School Hall. They pulled a big crowd, mostly local young people but still a varied crowd. Matured, cool and cruisey electronic sounds coming from such young musos, was seriously impressive. These guys are one to look out for in the near future.
Walking through the streets you see everything and anything, and this time it was a bunch of people cranking golden oldie The Final Countdown, dressed as 80’s dancers, just another day in Mullum. As dusk hit, buskers filled the streets and so did the Christmas beetles. I think if people were to explain their Mullum Music Festival experiene to you the abundance of Christmas beetles would definitely be a significant memory, patrons were pulling beetles out of their hair all afternoon.
The food … well, if you enjoy delicious, vegetarian, flavour-bursting goodness then you probably would’ve been in heaven at the food markets. We ordered a satay tofu burger from this amazing home cook serving deliciousness out of a caravan, what a legend she was. Great food really contributes to a festival and Mullum Music Fest definitely knows how to provide in that department.
Something that I truly loved about the festival was the vast array of people, of all ages and the organic connection they share, ‘the ambiance of the festival encapsulates and reflects the community’, one patron explained to me. People loved that the festival was intimate and that all the artists involved helped each other. I personally like the fact that Harry James Angus and Ash Grunwald were sitting in the local pub feeling comfortable to connect locally with the people and the place.
As the night neared the end, we headed to the School Hall for Melbourne bands Saskwatch and Bombay Royale, the amount of people that filled the hall for these two bands was fairly impressive. 11 piece band, Bombay Royale were entertaining to say the least, their energy and funk inspired Bollywood vibes forced you to shake your hips, and not to mention their outstanding and quite eye catching outfits which definitely enhanced their performance.
And the super cool guys from Saskwatch brought their radiant energy and pop/jazz tunes from their second album Nose Dive to the stage to make even the nannas get out of their chairs and have a little groove. Saskwatch were a much-anticipated act, as I heard little whispers throughout the day about their late night gig.
All in all, I left Mullum Music Festival with a huge smile on my face and a warm heart. The combination of the energy, varying talent and the beautiful country town of Mullumbimby just creates a perfect little festival for anybody and everybody.