On the weekend I had the pleasure of providing the sound system for one of the performing stages at the Maleny Music Weekend: www.malenymusicweekend.com. It was held in the lovely Maleny Showgrounds area, ran from Friday to Sunday, and attracted well over a thousand people, many of whom camped there for the weekend.
The music represented at this festival is folk based, and it includes everything from traditional folk, blues, country, choral and gospel to world music – including at this festival Celtic, Eastern European, Japanese and West African music soloists and ensembles. And of course there is encouragement of local community based groups with a wide selection of the best musicians working in the Sunshine Coast area.
It was a joy to be involved with such welcoming people. From the moment we arrived – the van loaded with equipment, there was help provided and interest shown by volunteers who were gathered to assist the festival. Volunteers are an essential cog in the wheel of these big events and in return for their support, they get to enjoy the music and atmosphere provided.
I provided sound for the Obi Obi Green stage which was covered by a 100 m2 marquee. This stage provides an intimate venue and open space for people to enjoy blackboard or open mic entertainment, along with professional acts and bigger ensembles (too large for a typical stage) who were able to perform on the grass surrounded by the audience sitting on hay bales.
The role of blackboard sessions at these sorts of music events is an integral part of their success. For those who don’t know, the blackboard allows musicians – either those who haven’t been booked to perform, or else those who simply want to get together with others to form a scratch band for a jam, to get up on stage with a good sound system and perform publicly.
For up and coming players of any age there is also the special reward that comes with preceding or following top performers on stage, and as Festival Director Noel Gardner noted, by alternating blackboard sessions with booked professional acts, there is the increased likelihood of that “special reward” taking place.
So a lovely musical and relaxed weekend – with beautiful clear days and cool nights, was had by all up at Maleny. If you didn’t make it this year, put it in your diary for next, as it is a special event.
Have a wonderful, creative month!