December is here, and the countdown is on, but it’s not just the countdown to Christmas we are excited about.
For second year, the Grow Your Own festival is back in Forster on December 22, and this year it has a new headline focus alongside a number of nationally acclaimed bands and musicians.
Forster’s Holly Rankin, also known by her music alias Jack River, is the director of Grow Your Own, and is leading the charge to promote all that the Great Lakes has to offer.
“The festival came from a want to showcase the music from our area and our region, and then bring national acts to our town who have never played here before,” Holly said.
“But this year we have added a new element to the event, with a big focus on local produce.
“It’s pretty incredible, we’re bringing about 15 growers and producers in, and they are all collaborating to create some great food.
“It’ll be some of the most creative and innovative farmers from the area.
“It’s time to shine a light on the local growers and farmers as we would our musicians; put sustainability and local food into the spotlight at the same time as music.
“Last year was all about music, but we want it to be about everything in the area, food, culture and music.”
It’s really cool to see it becoming a nationally known festival even though it's just in its second year, we’re putting Forster on the map one step at a time.Holly Rankin
With huge feature acts like Cloud Control taking part in the festival, Forster is well and truly capturing the attention of the Australian music industry, and Holly couldn’t be more excited.
“Having Cloud Control, a huge national band who actually created their album in our town coming back to play is so awesome,” she said.
“All the major players in the music industry like heads of record labels and huge managers and the crew at Triple J are so excited about our festival in Forster too, its so great.
“It’s really cool to see it becoming a nationally known festival even though it’s just in its second year, we’re putting Forster on the map one step at a time.”
The festival will be held in a new venue this year, at the Tuncurry Footy Fields on Beach Street, to allow for an expanded capacity of up to 3000 people.
“There’s so much going on in the Great Lakes and people need to know about the amazing area that we have,” Holly said.
“It’s definitely first and foremost a music festival, but there will be something for everyone there and it will keep growing in that direction in the future.”