Why Kennedys Creek Music Festival is worth the visit

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Why Kennedys Creek Music Festival is worth the visit

As the Cosmic Psychos accurately described, this year’s Kennedys Creek Music Festival was a “fucking corker”. While everyone holds onto Meredith and Golden Plains as being highlights on the festival circuit, Kennedys Creek Music Festival is more than worthy of sharing the title. Running for several years, this year saw the festival sell out earlier than ever.

Located at Kennedys Creek itself, weather is always on the wet side, and by the time I arrived on Friday evening the campsite was a boggy mess – but that’s part of the fun. With one main gateway to drive into the campsite, on arrival festival-goers were instructed to reverse back (allowing for a significant run-up) before flooring it through the muddy entrance. It served as a great kick-off for the festival and a means of entertainment and show-offs in lowered utes, vans and hatchbacks struggled to make their way across the 25-metre entrance.

With about 1000 people at the festival, it was intimate, full and the same music-loving faces were seen at each set. A bonus came with no real queues for toilets, food or drinks – aside from the last morning coffee queue, but the wait was well worth it for the trip home.


On Friday night The Living Eyes proved to have refined their craft, with a killer set drawing the crowds from their camp-site. Unfortunately the Fire Alive weren’t able to perform the night (due to a band member injury) and a fill in band made up of Ted O’Neil (who opened the Friday night) and various other locals took to the stage. Having seen Ted perform as a soloist in the earlier set, he was completely reinvented in the band setting and it was an environment that suited his style to a tee. Dorsal Fins also performed a solid set to a full crowd and Chook an Mulock executed a DJ set that kept every awake well into the early hours of Saturday morning.

Highlights from the Saturday came with Alister Turrill’s opening set. Which is often a timeslot for the few early risers, but it saw a generous crowd and one that was more than excited at the vocal abilities Turrill has developed – which have reached phenomenal levels.

Local bands Gums and Gullies were pleasant surprises, with the latter being the first time they’d performed as a unit. The Mary Goldsmiths took things to darker places, with several gospel references throughout their set and a story-telling ability much like Nick Cave. The lead singer performed like no other for the day as well. Alex Lahey was guaranteed to be a highlight for many on the day and worked through her hits and new EP like a breeze. The Shaolin Afronauts had everyone dancing with their Afrobeat tunes, and Pretty Littles managed to own a later slot at the festival even throwing in a System of a Down cover in their set (which lead singer Jack Parsons remarked as being pretty important to the band). Of course the main drawcard for the night was the Cosmic Psychos, and their rough-as-guts attitude and Aussie content fitted the country festival to a tee. It’s worth mentioning too, the grounds of the stage became a massive mudpit, and while many gumboots, socks and beer cans were lost to it, it didn’t stop anyone from getting into the thick of it. It’s hard to sum up a festival like Kennedys without truly being there to experience it yourself, so next year make sure you get tickets and don’t be the poor soul who missed out.


Reviewed and photographed by Amanda Sherring
Kennedys Creek – October 21-23