Big Dang Out to showcase fresh music

Bearing a name reminiscent of a larger and better known rock 'n' roll event, Australia's newest music festival will be launched this Sunday at Club Windang.

The Big Dang Out will feature 21 acts - most from the Illawarra with a couple of Sydney-siders - playing original music across three stages.

Event organisers Belinda Carter and Emily McQuade from Music for Change say there will be a variety of artists and genres performing.

"There'll be bands, solo artists, duos and trios," Carter says.

"We tried to put in a lot of different genres, everything from folk to heavy rock to pop to reggae.

"A lot of the new bands cross over genres so it's hard to describe what they are. There is a band called the Beaten Bodies, they are a nine-piece, they do a bit of reggae and they have a brass section.

"There's another nine-piece band - Dlinkwnt, they are Australian hip hop but with a brass section.

"There's country music with Michelle Cashman.

"Three of our bands played at Homebake - The Vanns, Blueberry Circuit and Go Mason Go.

"Another lady, Rebecca Moore, has supported John Butler Trio and played at the Opera House.

"I guess we've got a bit of everything."

The idea for Big Dang Out came about when Carter was pondering the number of talented acts in the Illawarra, and the lack of venues where they can perform.

"There's not a lot of places that encourage original music, they want you to play covers around here," she says.

"I was booking the entertainment for the Lake Illawarra Hotel and came across a lot of these young bands; there is just a load of talent in this area.

"[Emily and I] were talking about it and said we should just set up our own shows in an auditorium.

"I was driving home and thought, 'lets do it all in the one place on the one day'.

"Everyone was all for it. The bands were really excited. Club Windang was very supportive - they are always looking for new things to try."

Carter says the club is an ideal location for the festival.

"It's a great venue. They had a makeover a few years ago and one of the bowling greens has been converted to an outdoor area."

The club's auditorium will host the rock bands while acts that are more "pop, reggae, summery sounding" will feature on the outdoor stage and the club's main bar will be "acoustic and folky".

While it might not grow large enough to rival the Big Day Out, Carter hopes Big Dang Out will become an annual event.

"Emily and I really hope it will grow into something bigger," she says.

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