How Fairgrounds Festival Will Make Berry One Of Australia's Favourite Live Music Towns

2 November 2015 | 2:19 pm | Neil Griffiths

"Berry is just such a beautiful area and we fell in love with the town, we fell in love with the site."

"I think the south coast has a lack of options [for music festivals]," Daniels explains. "The north coast has a lot more. Berry is just such a beautiful area and we fell in love with the town, we fell in love with the site."

With the amount of festivals only continuing to grow in both Australia's regional and metro areas, Daniels says the country's need for an event designed for an older audience was the inspiration.

"It's something we thought about doing for a while. We're doing a festival for a slightly older demographic, bordering on families as well. It's for the people that still love great music and want a great weekend away.

"It's a different festival. It's inspired by festivals like Latitude in England or End Of The Road festival. It's catering for punters that used to go to events more a few years back and kind of grown out of it a bit and want a different experience. It's almost the high-end of the festival experience."

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Though he tried to narrow the demographic down even further, Daniels concedes that the festival is simply for "active music fans".

"A lot of them probably still listen to triple j or they're actively out there still listening to music and they probably go to a lot of shows. It's probably centred around real genuine music fans."

"It's catering for punters that used to go to events more a few years back and kind of grown out of it a bit and want a different experience."

The market for Australian music festivals has been a contentious topic throughout the country in recent times, following some of the biggest and beloved festivals being forced to close up shop. From some of the higher profile events such as Big Day Out and Future Music Festival, all the way to the Narooma-based Great Southern Blues Festival which held its last event this October before also folding, it is fair to say starting up new festivals can be a gamble. 

However Daniels remains optimistic on the topic, and claims that Australia's population must be considered. 

"We certainly bat well above average when it comes to the attendances for festivals in Australia," Daniels says. "Compared to the size of the Australian market… and the size of our cities, the amount of festivals we have is fantastic and the attendance is strong."

And for a first-year event, Fairgrounds has pulled out all the stops when it comes to its hugely impressive music line-up. Australian acts such as Meg Mac, CW Stoneking, Royal Headache and Methyl Ethel have all been confirmed for the event, as have a slew of international acts including Father John Misty, Ratatat, Mercury Rev and Jessica Pratt.

Festival promoter Mark Dodds explains that the bill was specifically picked on the diverse range of music that the artists offer.

"The beautiful thing about Fairgrounds is that everyone brings something different to the table. We deliberately booked a really eclectic line-up," Dodds says. So who should festival-goers keep an eye out for this year? "In some ways I'm really excited about Royal Headache. Those guys really haven't done a big hometown tour since the last record so doing a big rock show is going to be really exciting for them. But you can't go past Father John Misty either. It's one of those experiences you have to be there for."

As well as showcasing the stellar list of music acts at the event, Fairgrounds has ensured it will embrace the culture that Berry is known for: artisan food, wine markets and outdoor activities will all be on offer across the entire weekend so all ages are catered for. 

If Fairgrounds is to take off following its debut event, Daniels says that he would hope to keep the festival in Berry for years to come and as far as he is concerned, the town is home for Fairgrounds.

"Right now, we love Berry," he says. "We really hope this is our home for a long time. Not just the town of Berry but the whole south coast region has been so supportive of the event and we really want to showcase the south coast and just how beautiful it is down there."



Pull up a chair, relax and watch handpicked Fairgrounds films under the Berry stars.

First, watch beloved animated film My Neighbour Toroto, a perfect treat for young and old alike, followed by a screening of the documentary Searching For Sugar Man, a look at the mysterious '70s musician Rodriguez.


A securely designed area for parents and their little ones, featuring mazes, story time and star-gazing. Dedicated food stalls featuring healthy treats will also be on offer.


Think of any classic field game you know and they'll have it: sack races, egg and spoon races, lawn Twister — it's all here. Show off your competitive side to your friends and family. But not too competitive — it's just a bit of fun!


Stroll through the markets to get a taste of what life in Berry is like. Awesome goods and collectives are on offer throughout the many stores available. It also includes an independent label market, so vintage record collectors take note!


What better way to enjoy the hot Berry sun than by the pool? Bring your swimmers and pool floatie so you can cool off in between seeing some of your favourite acts.


Fairgrounds is conveniently taking place on the same weekend of Berry's monthly Country Fair. With over 200 stalls to browse through, festival-goers can indulge in locally sourced goods and produce, handmade arts and crafts. A family-friendly event complete with an animal farm and free entertainment.