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Nannup Nigel

WAM’s Nigel Bird shares why you shouldn’t miss this year’s Nannup Music Festival

24 Feb

With  the Nannup Music Festival just around the corner (March 3-6), WAM’s Regional Officer, the Inaugural Patron of the Nannup Music Festival and veteran of the fest (8 times either playing or attending), Nigel Bird shares what it is about the fest that makes it such a life-changing experience…

“The Nannup Music Festival is THE annual music experience you need to be at! Now in its 28th year, it is much loved, it is iconic and, for me, it is the most nationally significant music festival in Western Australia.

Eight meticulously curated stages and multiple busking/street stages are the platform for some of Australia’s most exciting contemporary music songwriters and bands. Set amongst the banks of the Blackwood River and throughout this adored inland South West town, it is my favourite music festival, hands down. So when I was asked to be the Inaugural Patron of the festival, how could I (or anyone refuse)?!

Prepare to discover a swag of new acts from inside and outside of WA; great artists who are on the brink of what they aspire to. The festival has an unannounced modus operandi of not having big headliner acts, to provide opportunities for those acts from around the nation that are emerging into a national spotlight. For example in March 2016, a little known Tash Sultana performed at Nannup… there are lots of examples like this. Like UK act Passenger, who performed a few years ago to the Amphitheater crowd on the Sunday afternoon. Or maybe the remotely-based Original Nation’s act Irrunytju Band, who’ll be touring nationally with the reformed Midnight Oil in 2017. One thing that is guaranteed is that you’ll see an act at Nannup who will become a name you’ll hear everywhere over the next year, but you’ll see them at Nannup before they are heralded by national music media. Plus you’ll see them in the most intimate of festival environments.

The venues of The Nannup Music Festival are laden with nature’s character, the main Amphitheater is set on the banks of the Blackwood River and is a place you can easily become trapped as you sprawl across the sloped grassy parklands in some kind of relaxed bliss. The Town Hall, constructed with local timber in 1903, is a venue that boasts amazing acoustics, and one where you’ll create forever memories. I don’t think I’ll ever erase from my mind the extended standing ovation for U.S. songsmith Steve Poltz last year. In 2017, I’m most excited to see the transformation of the Tigerville stage, located at the entry to Nannup’s Arbortorium – it is sure to prove popular with new and returning patrons. These are just three of the amazing and unique venues you’ll find yourself wandering through as you walk at a Broome-time pace around Nannup.

Aside from the outstanding music experiences, there is always so much more to the Nannup Music Festival, including a packed program of music and social workshops, the Brockman Street market stalls, or this year’s inaugural River Art Trail…And if gastronomy is your trigger, then indulge in a long table dinner, highlighting native ingredients, foraged locally by the award winning team at Fervor.

Come midday on Monday, the Nannup bubble is almost burst for another year, you’ll set off on your journey home with new music, new friends and new favourite acts to tell your mates about. You’ll also be wishing there was a rewind button on one of the best weekends of your 2017. Head over to the artists page at and check out the 90+ artists who are coming this year…and see you there.”

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Government of Western Australia Department of Culture and The Arts Australian Government

WAM is supported by the State Government through the Department of Culture and the Arts, and is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.