Perth Music Fans Air Frustration As WA Day Concert Abandons Local Focus

19 May 2023 | 11:33 am | Mary Varvaris

WA Day Festival will take place across Sunday, 4 June, and Monday, 5 June at Burswood Park.

Photo of Amy Shark, Baby Animals & Mark Seymour

Photo of Amy Shark, Baby Animals & Mark Seymour (Credit: Michelle Grace Hunder, Linda Dunjey, Supplied)

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WA Day Festival, the annual winter event that takes place on the first Sunday and Monday of June, makes its 2023 return on 4 and 5 June with a strong showing of local acts scheduled to perform.

However, social media users have taken issue with three East Coast acts billed as the headliners – Amy Shark, Baby Animals and Mark Seymour & The Undertow – in contrast to last year’s all-WA headliners Birds Of Tokyo, Eskimo Joe and Jebediah. In recent years, the WA Day Festival – previously known as State Of The Art (SOTA), has included the headliners' Spacey Jane, Drapht, John Butler, Katy Steele, Carla Geneve, San Cisco, Methyl Ethel and The Waifs.

Where the line-up could have amended that issue is in Voyager – billed fourth on the line-up, they might have been a strong headliner. Fresh off their Eurovision ninth-place spot, taking a chance on the Perth synth-metal group could’ve been a surprising but successful call.

Voyager have received a stunning compliment from the Premier of Western Australia, Mark McGowan, who wrote on social media: “Before their massive success on the world stage at Eurovision, WA's own Voyager were a stellar local band - and they're making their return for WA Day Festival.

“The free two-day festival will take place across Sunday, 4 June, and Monday, 5 June at Burswood Park.

“So mark your calendars and get ready to give these local legends a hero’s homecoming this WA Day long weekend”. McGowan even threw up the horns emoji at the end of the post.

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Further on the line-up, Western Australian acts South Summit, Boox Kid, Dulci, Priscilla and Mitch Santiago will also perform.

While most Facebook users are excited about a free two-day event, some are disappointed by the choice of headliners this year. “Imagine going from birds of Tokyo. Jebediah. Eskimoe joe in 2022 to Amy shark in 2023 who ain’t even from WA. Love it,” one wrote. Others asked variations of “Where are the WA acts?”, and “Why East Coast artists?”

Another commenter added: "Why are we importing acts from the Eastern States to celebrate WA Day? Do you think Victoria, NSW, QLD, SA would be dumb enough to book out of state acts to play their state holiday celebrations?"

The Music has reached out to WA Day Festival organisers for comment. 

However, it’s worth noting that the organisers responded to a Facebook user’s concerns about the line-up and said, “We've got an amazing line-up of WA born and bred bands including Voyager, South Summit, Boox Kid, Dulcie, Priscilla & Mitch Santiago, who will be on stage to entertain you on Sunday 4 June.”

WA Day Festival set times and maps will be arriving on Facebook and Instagram shortly.

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