BIG SKY BLUES & ROOTS FESTIVAL 2015 FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT!
FESTIVAL FAVOURITES ZAC BROWN BAND & FRANTI RETURN
NEW NAME, FIRST ARTISTS AND DATES ANNOUNCED!
TWO DAYS OF NON‐STOP MUSIC, ONSITE CAMPING, TWO STAGES
EARLY BIRD TICKETS ON SALE NOW!
Chugg Entertainment and Rob Potts Entertainment Edge have announced the first artists and early bird ticket details for the Big Sky Blues & Roots Festival to be held under the Riverina sky in Deniliquin in Southern NSW over the 2015 Easter long weekend – Saturday, 4 April and Sunday, 5 April, 2015.
The first artists to be announced for the 2015 Festival are Zac Brown Band, Michael Franti & Spearhead, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Mavis Staples, Benny Walker, Dallas Frasca and Dale Winters.
The Big Sky Blues & Roots Festival (formerly known as the Deni Blues & Roots Festival) is an award-winning festival now in its third year.
The change of name to Big Sky Blues & Roots Festival gives the event a unique identity that more accurately reflects the spirit and location of a festival taking place on the expansive, striking landscape, under the big sky of the Riverina Plains.
Michael Chugg, Chairman of Chugg Entertainment, said “We’ve been so thrilled with the growth the festival has made in its short but busy life thus far. We’re really confident that now, in its third year, the punters know and trust that this fantastic Easter event is a trusted source of great music and great fun. The site works so wonderfully well, with the infrastructure that’s already there, but additionally with the stunning landscape with its low horizon and the dome of the big sky above, it’s just magic. We can’t wait!”
Rob Potts from Entertainment Edge added, “After two great years of beautiful sunny weather in the open air and non-stop music between the two big stages, we can’t wait to get back for 2015. The clamouring for the return of Zac Brown Band and Michael Franti & Spearhead has been deafening, and we’re thrilled that legends like George Clinton and Mavis Staples will be making their festival debut under the “big sky” next Easter”.
The two day Big Sky Blues & Roots Festival is unique for southern NSW and gives music fans in the Southern States access to a world class music event just three hours from Melbourne, four hours from Canberra and less than five hours by road from Adelaide. In its first two years, the event has played host to iconic musicians from the US, UK and Australia including Santana, John Mayer, Elvis Costello, Status Quo, The Doobie Brothers, Jason Mraz, Chris Isaak, Bonnie Raitt, Boz Scaggs, Russell Morris and many, many more.
Member for Murray-Darling John Williams said: “The announcement of the newly named Big Sky Blues & Roots Festival for 2015 is fantastic news, with the new title signalling to audiences the unique and stunning destination that is the NSW Riverina.”
“The NSW Government, through our tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, is proud to support the Big Sky Blues & Roots Festival next year as part of a fantastic calendar of events in Regional NSW,” Mr Williams said.
The first round of artists confirmed to appear at the Big Sky Blues & Roots Festival in 2015:
Zac Brown Band
Three-time Grammy winners and one of music's most heralded acts, the Zac Brown Band’s three platinum-selling albums, Uncaged, You Get What You Give and The Foundation have together sold over six million copies and produced a historic series of eleven #1 hit singles. Since 2009, the band has garnered more than 50 combined Grammy, ACM, AMA, CMA, and CMT award nominations and has grown to become the fifth highest-grossing artist in the US right now.
Zac Brown Band thrilled the crowd at the inaugural festival back in 2013 and their latest album, The Grohl Sessions Vol. 1, was produced by The Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl who describes the band as “unbelievable … they’re f-ing great!”. Don’t miss the chance to catch Zac Brown and the band at the 2015 Big Sky Blues & Roots Festival.
Michael Franti & Spearhead
Michael Franti knows all about the power of music. He knows how it can inspire, uplift and make people want to dance or cry. The barefoot, 6’6” San Francisco based singer-songwriter-guitarist and philanthropist is known for the communal spirit he creates with his extraordinary live shows. The singer regularly brings down the barrier between the performers on stage and the people in the audience as he did at last year’s Festival; whether venturing into the crowd to slap hands or pulling fans up to dance, sing and play along with the band. He's a dynamic performer who effortlessly moves tens of thousands of people with his invocations. Watching him, you can't help but think about how much he delights in every moment.
As he says, all the freaky people make the beauty of the world and we’re stoked that Michael Franti will be bringing the beauty back to the Big Sky Blues & Roots Festival in 2015.
George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic
Known globally for his outlandish costume and his multi-coloured dreadlocks as well as his mastery of intergalactic funk, Dr. George Clinton is one of the most sampled musicians on the planet and has worked alongside Tupac, Primal Scream, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Snoop Dog, Outkast, Wu Tang Clan, Carlos Santana, Redman and so many others as collaborator or producer.
The legendary George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic are one of the most important innovators of funk music alongside James Brown, Sly Stone and the Funky Meters, and we can’t wait till he brings the ‘awe-funk-some’ P-Funk Collective, all 22 of them, to the Big Sky Blues & Roots Festival next Easter.
VH1 named her as one of the 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll, and Rolling Stone listed her as one of the 100 Greatest Singers of all time. Mavis Staples is a Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, and a US National Heritage Fellowship Award recipient.
In her 60-year career – from her ground-breaking family gospel group, The Staples Singers (I'll Take You There, Respect Yourself) and on her own, Mavis Staples is responsible for blazing a rhythm & blues trail while never relinquishing her gospel roots.
A frequent visitor to Australia, this will be Mavis Staples’ first appearance at the Big Sky Blues & Roots Festival, where we know that her star will be shining brightest.
Offering an effortless blend of soul, blues, reggae and acoustic folk, indigenous performer Benny Walker is quite clearly one of Australia’s most promising new talents.
Born and bred in Echuca, Victoria, Benny Walker inherited his passion for music from his father and his grandfathers, all talented musicians in their own right. Forming his first band at the tender age of 12, Benny cut his teeth on classic blues, surf and folk before finding his own voice in the raw honesty of acoustic roots music and it’s his intuitive, heartfelt songwriting combined with his soulful voice that leaves no doubt that he means every word that he sings.
Dallas Frasca is an Australian ‘riff rock’ trio formed in Melbourne in 2006 and consists of Dallas Frasca (vox/guitar), Jeff Curran (guitar) and Zane Rosanoski (drums). The origins of the band began as a ‘grunge / roots’ duo when Dallas and Jeff’s worlds collided in a small bar in Melbourne and the band’s style soon developed into their own brand of ‘new school riff rock’.
The band has gone onto play well over 600 shows together and countless festivals around the world. In 2010 Dallas Frasca won ‘Artist of the Year’ at the Australian Independent Music Awards and their songs have been included in countless surf films and animal rights campaigns and we look forward to welcoming them to the Big Sky Blues & Roots Festival stage in 2015.
Dale Winters’ destiny was sealed at a very young age. Born in Melbourne, Australia, Dale developed a fascination with his father’s extensive vinyl record collection and at 11 years of age he strapped on his first electric guitar, turned up the lounge-room stereo and began shredding and singing along with the likes of Muddy Waters, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Clapton.
Combining an old-time blues sense with the technical fluency of a modern guitar player, Dale extracts tones and textures from his instrument that leave even the most seasoned performers aghast. Dale Winters’ trademark blues-infused guitar licks, together with gritty rock riffs and raw, emotive vocals, are sure to leave you wanting more when he takes the stage at the 2015 Big Sky Blues & Roots Festival.
Harry Hookey’s chance encounter with The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper’s album was the musical trigger for this singer songwriter of the alt.folk.rock.roots variety with a background in pop, punk and an obsession with Bob Dylan.
After graduating with a Law degree from the University of Melbourne in late 2012, Harry Hookey has now wisely decided to pursue a more stable profession in the music industry and his live reputation is building steadily as he makes his way around the country from gig to gig, cutting his chops at festivals and intimate venues alike. His debut album, Misdiagnosed, has recently been nominated in the Best Blues & Roots Album category in the 2014 ARIA Awards and we can’t wait to see him bring the album to life at next year’s Big Sky Blues & Roots Festival.
Campgrounds will open at midday on Good Friday, 3 April with entertainment commencing in the XXXX Bar on Friday night with a special performance by Harry Hookey.
Stay tuned for more artists to be announced in the coming weeks.
The 2015 Big Sky Blues & Roots Festival is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.
Early Bird tickets for the Big Sky Blues & Roots Festival go on sale from 9.00am on Tuesday, 14 October, 2014 until 11.59pm on Thursday, 23 October, 2014
Conargo Road, Deniliquin, NSW
Saturday, 4 April, 2015 –and- Sunday, 5 April, 2015
Gates / Camping opens at midday, Friday, 3 April
Zac Brown Band, Michael Franti & Spearhead,
George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic and Mavis Staples
Benny Walker, Dallas Frasca, Dale Winters and Harry Hookey
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