Lighting Up Local Talent
Sunshine Sounds has returned to Eumundi, the creative heartland of the Sunshine Coast! Georgia Beard explores the diverse line-up of performers at this family-friendly music festival.
What first comes to mind when you think about Eumundi? Markets? With 1.6 million visitors a year, the artisanal market has made its mark. But this heritage hinterland village has more to say – or rather, sing.
This winter, another community initiative will make some noise when Sunshine Sounds Festival returns to the Eumundi Showgrounds for its second year, amplifying the local music scene.
Inclusivity is the backing track to this big-hearted festival, uniting award-winning musicians, emerging talent and festivalgoers in an unskippable and unmissable performance line-up.
Presented by KIN Music, Sunshine Sounds is the passion project of superwoman songstress Katie Noonan. After helming the Queensland Music Festival and National Folk Festival in Canberra, she’s championing the musicians on her doorstep.
“Sunshine Sounds is a truly special little festival that really brings people together,” she said. “There’s a real sense of community-connection, welcoming music lovers, and indeed performers, of all ages and stages.”
The program will deliver a scale of harmonies just as varied as the artists performing – indie, folk, rock, soul, blues, jazz, traditional First Nations song and more.
Katie and her brother Tyrone will reunite for a powerhouse performance of their band George’s legendary album Polyserena for its 20th Anniversary. The duo is joined by Brandon Mamata on guitar, Steele Chabau on bass and Katie’s son Dexter Hurren on drums.
Australian/Fijian songbird Andrea Kirwin has also brought together a big crew of friends and musicians who call the Sunshine Coast home to form The Yama-Nui Social Club; a big band full of soul and goodness, inspired by the Buena Vista Social Club.
Other celebrated artists include ARIA award-winning musician Clare Bowditch; You Am I frontman Tim Rogers; award-winning coastal roots group Band of Frequencies; and international performer from the Sunny Coast, JaZZella.
Sunshine Sounds also gives a voice to flourishing local musicians, including Yalanji woman of jazz and blues Deline Briscoe; husband-and-wife folk duo Hat Fitz & Cara; Brisbane-raised indie-folk artist Asha Jefferies; 16-year-old singer-songwriter Zara; 13-year-old First Nations singer-songwriter Layla Barnett and Lyndon Davis & Gubbi Gubbi Dancers.
Another of Katie’s passion projects, the Eumundi School of Rock, will undoubtedly score an A+ for its high velocity performances. The hands-on program supports kids aged 8 to 17 that want to – and can – rock! It also provides paid work for local musicians who mentor the students, sharing their talent and real-life experience.
“In our seven years, we have provided free music education to more than 150 kids, and in our last few years we have grown to include a Showband and a Teenage Superband for musos aged 13 – 17,” she said. “I really believe in the vital importance of music education for all, regardless of whether you can afford it or not. I also believe in the power of music to help children discover their sense of confidence, self-love and their own sense of belonging and community.”
Friday 29 July will see four Eumundi School of Rock bands play live on the big stage, performing alongside You Am I rock god and Eumundi School of Rock 2022 Mentor, Tim Rogers.
“Three of our brilliant past students – Lochie Kapper on guitar, Niamh Stevens on bass and Dexter Hurren on drums – will be backing Tim and to close the concert and all the 2022 rockers will rock out in an epic 26-piece band with Tim!” Katie said.
On Saturday, the Sunshine Sounds Community Choir will unite the crowd with a shared voice, accompanied by Band of Frequencies and young vocalists from Eumundi School of Rock.
“Festival-goers get to join in what promises to be a goosebumps-inducing group sing-song for all ages and abilities,” Katie said.
The choir song for this year is The Dead Heart by Midnight Oil and if you are keen to be involved, join in the pre-festival choir rehearsals in the Eumundi CWA Hall on 10, 17 and 24 July.
As voices rise above the hills of Eumundi over two unifying nights, the Sunshine Coast will discover just how vibrant homegrown talent can be, especially with a local community lighting them up.
Let the sun shine!
SUNSHINE SOUNDS PROGRAM
Eumundi Showgrounds, Black Stump Road, Gubbi Gubbi Country
Friday 29 July 2022
Gates open: 4:30pm
Welcome to Country and music: 5pm-10pm
Saturday 30 July 2022
Gates open: 11am
Welcome to Country and music: 11.30am-10pm
Tickets via oztix.com.au
Friday: $40 Adults (18+), $20 Youth (10+)
Saturday: $80 Adults, $40 Youth
Two-day Passes: $100 Adults, $50 Youth
Kids under 10 are FREE