It was the second year for the Forster festival and it had grown immensely since the last, moving to a bigger location, bigger national acts were added to the lineup and a lot more was happening throughout the day. There was a huge emphasis on local brewers, farmers and producers which I really loved, one of the bands Los Scallywaggs even created their Saxbys drink that was sold at the festival. The weather was very touch and go at the start of the day but the rain stayed away and the sun well and truly came out when local bands The Ruiins and Los Scallywaggs played their earlier sets. Always such solid sets from both of these bands and it was so great to see all the locals coming out to embrace their mates music and the festival as a whole.
I got to make my way around the Producers and Farmers tents and there was so much awesome produce from locals and to see all their smiley faces keen to share their knowledge and passions with the punters was lovely to see. And a very special note to all the volunteers who were very prompt with the picking up of the rubbish, normally at festivals you're used to seeing copious amounts of rubbish but the grounds were looking extremely great and lush. (all the volunteers were lovely in fact)!
With the I Oh You Dj's between acts it kept the vibe going and the grounds were filling out throughout the day, with acts like Alex The Astronaut, Ruby Fields and The Babe Rainbow bringing a lot of the crowd together in the late arvo. I loved that the lineup was extremely diverse in the acts that were added, nobody was the same and there were plenty of females on the bill which made me extremely happy!
We all got to witness a very special moment at the festival with the Worimi people, the traditional custodians of the land brought everyone together around the stage to share some stories, traditional dance and welcome us to the land. It was an amazing touch to the festivals lineup and it really should be something that all festivals all over Australia should incorporate, so hopefully people discuss what Grow You Own did and it becomes a point of discussion for other aussie festival directors.
The Gooch Palms were up next and the crowd were getting real into it, crowd surfing, the whole lot. This band are one that are loved by many and always seem to bring together a solid crowd of frothers, The Belligerents were next on the bill and after hearing their newest album 'Science Fiction' it was a set I was very keen to see, such a great band and I didn't realise there was quite so many of them until I saw them up there.
There was a very special short set from the lady who had organised the day, Jack River. What a lady and her music is just so damn lovely and dreamy, the sun was setting and it was all just so nice. I'm really glad that she got to do a little set because it just made the festival a whole lot more special.
Local boys Skegss were up next and the crowd went very mental, every time Skegss are on a lineup theres always a solid crowd and the merchandise is in full form, I don't think I've seen as many Skegss shirts as I did at Grow Your Own and also lots of socks and tattoos. They've really taken the aussie music scene by storm and I don't think that will be slowing down at any time soon. The sun went down and the last act Cloud Control were set to close the festival. I hadn't seen this band in quite some time, probably when their album Bliss Release came out nearly a decade ago. It was a very special set and it was really nice to finish the festival with lovely dreamy music and harmonies.
Another year at Grow You Own and it was so damn amazing to see the progression in the festival over a year and I can't wait to see what next year brings, as a person who grew up in the Mid North Coast area I love what a festival like this can mean for the locals!
Reviewer: Sarah McEwan