The Honk! Oz music festival kicks off in Wollongong

The Honk! Oz music festival will kick off in Wollongong’s CBD on Friday.

The festival is a fringe event to the annual Illawarra Folk Festival, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

The event takes its name and focus on community participation from similar American music festivals in Texas and Massachusetts.

Performers will play in Globe Lane, the arts precinct and Wollongong Botanic Garden before heading to several city bars for late-night shows.

Event co-director and University of Wollongong professor Lotte Latukefu has been involved in the Illawarra Folk Festival for the past four years.

She then became heavily involved in organising the inaugural Honk! event, describing it as an activists’ festival.

‘‘The community involvement is much higher then that of other festivals,’’ she said.

Prof Latukefu said the focus of the festival was ‘‘building resilient communities’’, with everyone involved volunteering their time, including the artists.

Wollongong’s live music scene has taken off over the past few years in venues around the CBD, providing the perfect backdrop for the festival.

While noise restrictions outside licensed premises limit the timing of street performances, Prof Latukefu said several Wollongong venues had been more than happy to fill the gap.

Bars including Howlin’ Wolf, Three Chimneys and Rad Bar are set to host Honk! After Dark, replacing their regular acts with performers from the festival.

The Honk! fiesta, running on Saturday afternoon, is set to be one of the weekend’s main events, and is hoping to attract residents to the Centro CBD restaurant. 

‘‘Every corner will be full of live music’’ Prof Latukefu said. 

‘‘It will be very New York-inspired and should make you feel like you have entered a different land’’.

The festival kicks off in the arts precinct at 4pm on Friday.

It continues right through the weekend until Sunday afternoon.

All events are free.

What's on

Friday, January 9

  • 4-9pm: Honk! street bands in the arts precinct with the lantern parade at 8pm.
  • 7.30pm-midnight: Honk! After Dark at Howlin’ Wolf, Rad Bar and The Social

Saturday, January 10

  • 9.30am-1.30pm: Honk! street bands in the arts precinct with the street band parade at 10.30am.
  • 12.30-5.30pm: Honk! Fiesta at Centro CBD
  • 6.30-9pm: Honk! street bands in Globe Lane
  • 7.30pm-midnight: Honk! After Dark

Sunday, January 11

  • 10.30am-3pm: Honk! final concert, Wollongong Botanic Garden
  • 3pm: The Brassholes at Figtree Bowling Club