The small Port Stephens township of Karuah will host a bigger, rebranded ‘Lost Highway Bluegrass Music Festival’ this year from Friday, May 6 to Sunday May 8, 2016, with 15 leading acts, circus performances, bluegrass yoga, music workshops, bush dances, a bluegrass gospel concert and a pink hoola hoop contest for charity set to ‘jam’ the town.
Karuah bluegrass festival – Bill Chambers
The historic and picturesque riverside town of 1500 people, nestled by the Karuah River on the Old Pacific Highway two hours north of Sydney, will be transformed into a jiving hub of bluegrass music. For the first time, three venues – including a new circus big top – will host a variety of bluegrass acts headlined by Tamworth Country Music Awards winner Catherine Britt, country music legend Bill Chambers and Newcastle singer Deanna Rose who starred on ‘The Voice’ TV show last year.
Sponsored by Port Stephens Council and supported by Destination Port Stephens, the new-look Lost Highway Bluegrass Music Festival will include a talent contest, banjo, guitar, fiddle and mandolin workshops for budding musicians, circus performances, a bluegrass yoga session each morning, bush dance, jam sessions and a program of non-stop music. On Sunday a bluegrass gospel concert will be followed by a David Bowie tribute concert.
Karuah bluegrass festival – Catherine Britt
Among the bill of 15 acts at the family-friendly festival are Sprowell, Rose and the Sea, The Three Marketeers, The Martins, Coolgrass, The Plough, Sunny and the Dark Corners, Den Hanrahan and the Rum Runners and Whistle Dixie.
The popular, annual event, formerly called the Karuah Bluegrass Music Festival, will also feature market and food stalls, fresh local oysters and a bar serving Port Stephens craft beer from Murray’s Brewery. A pink hoola hoop contest will also be held on Sunay, May 8 – Mother’s Day – to raise money for breast cancer research.
Accommodation is available at local holiday parks and motels.
Lost Highway Bluegrass Music Festival
When: Friday, May 6 to Sunday, May 8, 2016.
Time: 1-11pm on Friday, 8am to 11pm on Saturday and 8am to 4pm on Sunday
Where: Three venues across the town of Karuah in Port Stephens.
Cost: Three-day weekend pass – $80 ($70 concessions, $40 youths 12-17). Full day passes from $40 ($35 concessions, $20 youths). Friday only pass $16 ($14 concessions, $8 youths). Free entry for under 12s. Tickets available online and at gate.