September 8, 2013 by tvo320
The Red Deer Music and Arts Festival started in 2010 with four friends who wanted to host a BYO music, arts, and camping festival that featured local bands and artists. I’m huge into supporting grassroots efforts and love that the fest continues to annually grow. We headed to Mt. Samson on a gorgeous sunny Saturday afternoon looking forward to twelve straight hours of music from both signed and unsigned local musicians. They also had various booths that sold the ukulele, clothing, art, or food. As a bonus, the festival was pirate-themed that featured a fun costume contest.
Prior to coming to Australia, I wasn’t really familiar with regional Australian bands or musicians on the horizon but knew of the following Australian artists: Olivia Newton-John, Kylie Minogue, Keith Urban, Gotye, Cut Copy, Tommy Emmanuel (one of my FAVs), Men At Work, Air Supply, AC/DC, INXS, John Butler Trio, and Savage Garden. I learned about big country star John Williamson from my god mother when I went on a hunt for his discontinued album and succeeded in finding one of the last copies!
After the festival, I became a fan of several new bands and loved learning about the music scene right where I live. My favorite discoveries would be Kingswood, The Kite String Tangle, Sneeky Picnic, and Mat McHugh. While in line to order pizza, I just so happened to be behind a Kingswood member, Alex. They are a rock band based in Melbourne. We started chatting and guess where they are recording their album!? NASHVILLE! Both of our minds were blown! We kept chatting about the awesomeness of Nashville and figured out that we share some of the same favorite spots such as the 5 Spot and The Patterson House. He introduced me to the rest of the band who are great too. A few members have fabulous black hair that is almost as long as mine. They were heading back to Nashville after the festival! What a small world.
The Kite String Tangle is a one man band that just announced his first tour and all of his shows just sold out. I am hoping to find a ticket to his last Brisbane show because he was THAT incredible. Fingers crossed. Sneeky Picnic is an all girl band that can rap and bring down the house. They have been on a roll winning Ben and Jerry’s Open Air Cinemas Competition that gave them an opportunity to play on the opening night! I could listen to Mat McHugh every time I get in the car and head to the beach. As the day went on, the music just kept getting better and better and we found ourselves dancing with the great crowd. We were invited to the VIP area before heading home which is always fun!
My friends and I had the best time and I highly recommend attending this festival if you want a unique experience. What other festival allows you to BYO (bring your own) eskie (cooler)? What other festival lets you camp a hop and a skip away from the stages? What other festival allows you to BYO couch?!?! I think I have made my case.
Tips for when you go to Red Deer:
- No GLASS of any sort! (We learned the hard way)
- Bring an awesomely filled eskie (cooler).
- Bring cash.
- Stay and camp.
- Don’t forget sunscreen!