OVER a period of six years, the Wingham Akoostik Festival has established itself as one of the most vibrant community-based events. Offering a diverse variety of performances and workshops, it attracts several thousand attendees.
At its new home, Wingham Showground, the two day festival will officially be opened on Friday by Wendy Machin, NRMA president and Member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead. After a free choir workshop with acclaimed choral conductor Rachel Hore, Akoostik will be kick started with the many choirs singing this year for the opening night performances from 6pm.
Two well-known international singers that now call Australia home will join another 40 artists at the festival this year.
New Zealand-born Jenny Morris and Canadian-born Wendy Matthews will add to the diverse variety of performances.
Akoostik Music Festival Spokesperson, Donna Ballard, said "We are excited to secure both these women as they are in-demand singers and multi-award winning artists."
Jenny has recorded five solo albums, has four Multi-Platinum albums and five top charting singles like 'You're Gonna Get Hurt' ('86) and 'Body & Soul' ('87). Wendy's credentials include seven ARIAs, a massive 19 singles, and seven top selling albums and her tours play to full houses in both regional and capital city theatres.
"We are also thrilled to have the talents of Mangrove Mountain local and well-known singer, Bill Chambers, performing this year," said Donna. "Chambers, performing on the Saturday evening, is one of those growling singers who owes a substantial debt to both Bob Dylan and John Prine."
Most recently Chambers recorded his first DVD 'Live At The Pub, Tamworth', reliving the great atmosphere that his Tamworth sessions have become famous for.
"We are thrilled to also announce our very first 'truly' international band with Joni Agung and Double T from Bali, having assisted them to receive funding from their government to make this tour possible.
Joni Agung and Double T play at the biggest reggae fest in Indonesia every year and their works, published since 2002, focus on social mission, cultural conservations, peace, love and harmony issues showing respect to Bali Cultural heritage. "These values align nicely with the philosophy of the Akoostik Festival," said Donna.
There is also a number of country artists playing who will attract travellers. As well as Bill Chambers, artists include Josh Needs, fresh from the Broadbeach Blues Fest and Gleny Rae Virus and her Playboys, well-known to the Tamworth country music fans.
"On our laid back Sunday, people can catch many other artists that are on the rise, including the Siskin River girls, Fox Control, Kita and Caravana Sun," said Donna.
Akoostik goodie gifts
The first 100 festival goers through the showground gate on Saturday morning will receive an 'Akoostik Goodie Bag' packed with great value from festival sponsors.
Each bag has goodies from McDonalds, Max FM, Sundari Treatments, Mid Coast Water, Trad N Now Magazines, Saxbys Soft Drinks, Essential Energy, Wingham Chronicle, Wingham Auto-Care and many more businesses.
Also to be in the draw to win the $500 Akoostik Bundle you must purchase your earlybird ticket by 5pm Thursday. Tickets are still available at Bent on Life Wingham, Leading Edge Taree, and Movies Games and More Taree.