News November 8, 2018

Wollongong’s Farmer & The Owl settles on a new home

Wollongong’s Farmer & The Owl settles on a new home
Image via Facebook

After being staged on the grounds of the University of Wollongong since 2013 and then Stuart Park, Wollongong’s Farmer & The Owl festival is moving next year.

Its new home is MacCabe Park (also known as McCabe Park).

It will be staged on Saturday, March 2, 2019 and plans announced this morning are for the festival to be collectively curated by the Farmer & The Owl label family.

This includes Hockey Dad, Totally Unicorn, The Pinheads, TEES and Tropical Strength.

“It’s been such a fun experience chatting and collaborating with all the other bands on the label and putting forward some of our fav local and international bands for the festival!” says Drew Gardner of Totally Unicorn.

“Feels like a family BBQ, where everyone brings their specialty dish.

“The only thing is; who’s doing the washing up after?!”

The first round of artists will be announced Tuesday, November 20.

The ambience of MacCabe/ McCabe Park includes green laneways, palm and native eucalypts trees, spacious lots and secluded alcoves, a council operated art gallery a war memorial, a sculpture called “Nike” and a graffiti-covered youth centre with a skating area.

The move to the new venue is the latest round of growth for Farmer & The Owl.

The dominant experience at the event is shaped by the fact attendance has been capped at 3,500.

Hence there’s close camaraderie between strangers, and you get anything from raised rainbow flags to lectures from the stage on waste management (the event is totally plastic-free), more females on stage than males, a kiddies section and a Whitney karaoke session.

It made sense: after all, festival funders Ben Tillman, Adam Smith and Balunn Jones started out throwing parties at their share house.

They were forced to make it a festival when up to 600 people would turn up, there was a “demolish any wall you feel like” vibe, and visits from the cops ordering them to turn down the volume became more frequent as the nights wore on.

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