Sydney Water brings beats to North Wollongong for Clean Up Australia Day

PLANET SHAKERS: True Vibenation one act providing the soundtrack to North Wollongong's Beat The Bottle on Sunday 12pm to 3pm. Maddie Wray, Mithra Cox and Andy Gray (inset) getting prepped. Picture: Supplied
PLANET SHAKERS: True Vibenation one act providing the soundtrack to North Wollongong's Beat The Bottle on Sunday 12pm to 3pm. Maddie Wray, Mithra Cox and Andy Gray (inset) getting prepped. Picture: Supplied

An African/Australian funk group is headlining a music and arts festival of a different sort this weekend which will see the environment around North Wollongong Beach given a makeover.

True Vibenation will be joined by Purple Sneakers and The Junk Drummers to provide the soundtrack to one of the most groove-driven Clean Up Australia Day event the Illawarra has seen.

“Communities are the key to the solution,” Sydney Water spokeswoman Jennifer Whittle said.

The organisation has chosen Wollongong and Manly as pilot cities to host Beat The Bottle in a bit to rid the beach of plastics and encourage people to think about the impact rubbish has on oceans and waterways.

The local contingent will also feature a giant art installation on the sand, a live art exhibition, stalls, “responsible cafes” and a free diving group who will clean up the ocean floor.

Chaos Emerald from Haiku Hands and Jayteehazard have also collaborated to produce a high-energy track called Come Clean, which will be pressed on vinyl made from 90 per cent recycled plastic (marine debris) and played by the DJ’s on the day.

Each participant will receive a stainless steel, insulated water bottle to reduce the need for environmentally harmful plastic water bottles, all while cleaning to the beat.

It’s never too late to care about the environment.

Andy Gray

Andy Gray, 26, from Plastic Free Wollongong said beach clean ups often did not seem very appealing so this was a fun way to show people why they should care.

“My generation there’s a lot of people who are passionate about protecting the environment and getting involved, it’s probably the older generations who feel like they’ve run their race and aren't too concerned,” Mr Gray said.

“It’s never too late to care about the environment and the solutions we are putting forward are easy and everyone can adopt.”

Every year, Sydney Water removes more than one million plastic bottles from waterways before they can get to beaches. The organisation will continue to work with groups across Western Sydney to roll out further events in late 2018.

Maddie Wray from the Surfrider Foundation, Mithra Cox, and Andy Gray from Plastic Free Wollongong at North Wollongong beach preparing for Beat the Bottle on Sunday. Picture: Adam McLean

Maddie Wray from the Surfrider Foundation, Mithra Cox, and Andy Gray from Plastic Free Wollongong at North Wollongong beach preparing for Beat the Bottle on Sunday. Picture: Adam McLean

Over the last 26 years Clean Up Australia Day volunteers have removed more than 331 thousand tonnes of rubbish from their streets, beaches, parks, bushland and local waterways. That's the equivalent of end to end fully laden utes from Sydney to Brisbane via the coastline.