The small town of Boyup Brook once again hosted the Boyup Brook Country Music Festival presented by LiveLighter last weekend, 15 - 17 February 2019. Now in its 34th year, this festival is the biggest Country Music festival in WA and this year did not disappoint with a star-studded line up including the incomparable Beccy Cole, classic country music of Travellin' Still the Songs of Slim Dusty and the fresh sounds of The Buckleys. The festival still prides itself as a launch pad for new talent and the Friday night was dedicated to the West Australian Country Music Awards presented by LiveLighter. Congratulations to this years finalists and winners, we have amazing talent here in Western Australia, including local young artist, Kyannah Johansen.
The festival has grown over the years with an increasing number of exciting fringe events celebrating the music and culture of the area, including the Boyup Brook Art Awards and Exhibition, the morning showcase at Harvey Dickson's, Bush Poets Breakfast and, music industry workshops led by some of the biggest names in the business. On Saturday the main street was blocked off and the crowd enjoyed browsing market stalls selling local produce and wares while listening to a variety of buskers. A firm festival favourite was the Boyup Brook Ute and Truck Muster and people travelled from all over the country to participate in this unique event. The wide tree lined main street of the usually tranquil town, transformed into a cacophony of horns and sirens, as utes, trucks, vintage cars and tractors cruised through, a genuine celebration of Aussie culture and vehicle appreciation.
There is something for everyone at the festival but really it is the music, set in the beautiful surrounds, next to the Blackwood River at the Boyup Brook Music Park that keeps people coming back year after year. Cathy Szathmary travelled from Perth with her 14-year-old daughter and praised the festival for having a, "relaxed family energy, with a lovely country music crowd, full of friendly people."
The ambiance of the Music Park is one of appreciation and respect, with people coming together and uniting through the genuine love of country music. The gathering of people from all walks of life, different ages and backgrounds, to share in this unique experience is also felt up on stage. "The first time we were here I noticed the enthusiastic crowd and that hasn't changed, you know they are listening," said country music veteran Pete Denahy. Cowboy Roger Lawson started busking at the festival four years ago, this year he was proud to open the Ute and Truck Muster Stage and is passionate about the event, "The setting is fantastic, top notch facilities, working with great professionals and playing to an appreciative audience is what makes it so memorable as a performer," he said.
Festival music director, Sharon Winter said, “The ongoing success of the festival is thanks to our committed volunteers, our fantastic sponsors and the strong community spirit of Boyup Brook and the surrounds. We have already started thinking about the next event and we have even bigger plans for our 35th year.”