The mid north coast is somewhere I love and am very familiar with, a place where I grew up. Forster has a beautiful scenery, people, cafes and solitude but also some realllll good music is being brewed up and luckily Holly Rankin aka Jack River curated a festival to showcase it all. It was an extremely hot day, and the set up for this festival was sick, down at the local Club Forster in the backyard which was just perfect for this size festival. Artist Lee McConnell added the coolest element to this festival, his epic artistic skills! Painting all the décor and props, colour coordination of pale, 70’s type colours really brought a really laid back vibe to the festival which reflects Forster as a wholeeee.
First band to kick off the festival is Vanilla Gorilla, these guys are so damn good, they get raving reviews and feedback from wherever they play either up on the Gold Coast, Newcastle or wherever. 5 young dudes who just froth, a lot. Full of life on stage, smiles and just general feel good vibes. If you like Ocean Alley, Sticky Fingers with a incorporation of old rock and sneaky electronica then you’re in heaps of luck, these boys have a whole lot of potential.
With sweet little intervals in between bands and a damn good playlist with a nice array of genres, a dash of 90’s bangers, Fleetwood Mac and more recent tracks, to cater for the masses/ drunken states.
Galleri are a band that have been around the Mid North Coast for quite some time building their live presence up and down the coast playing many festivals during this time. Full of life and plenty of experience the took the stage, bringing together a beautiful crowd creating a sense of community whilst killing it on stage.
Los Scallywaggs are creating waves all over the bloody place lately, getting the Triple J Unearthed slot at Festival Of The Sun, touring with Skegss and heaps more. They’re all super lovely guys so they brought a massive crowd of mates, fans, cooked dancers and more. I reckon these guys will be going places this year for sure.
The Ruiins were kicking off next, who hands down always put on a brilliant show, they’re music is chilled and relaxing but you can still dance like a loonatic to it, which is a damn nice combo. These guys have a real successful 2016 so there’s much more on the horizon for the band Gold Coast/ Forster based two piece.
To finish off the evening was the amazing Jack River and Dope Lemon. Jack River aka Holly Rankin the festival director sure knows how to organise a festival to put on a show, a lady of many talents. She brought a magical atmosphere to the festival, super dreamy with popular tracks ‘Palo Alto’ and ‘Talk Like That’ being played live to perfection. The dreaminess continued with Angus Stone’s project Dope Lemon, with his debut album coming out in 2016 ‘Honey Bones’ I was extremely keen to hear the beautifully crafted album in the flesh. An extremely mellow set was brought to live by the live band consisting on members from The Walking Who and the Delta Riggs, with a little appearance from Elliot the front band of the Delta Riggs absolutely ripping on the harmonica.
What an amazing community based festival I really hope Grow Your Own continues for many years to come, we can’t wait to return!
Reviewer/ Photographer: Sarah McEwan