On March 11, The Rhythm Hut will be hosting the Narara Music Festival Warm Up Party, a bite sized appetiser for what could be described as a feast of Rock, Blues and Psych when the full course Narara rolls around on the 6th of May.

If the name sounds familiar… it should. This years Narara is a revival of a huge festival that ran for two years in ’83 and ’84 and included some of the biggest names in rock. So it’s easy to say that this year will have some history to live up to.


But what is that history….

Unlike its namesake suggests, Narara was held in Somersby, a scenic town inland of Gosford.

The legendary 1983 festival hosted only Australian acts including: The Divynls, Australian Crawl, INXS, The Church, Men at Work, Allnighters, Cold Chisel.

The poster advertised “A celebration of Australian Music” over the Australia day Long Weekend, featuring, “Open Spaces. Camping. 30 top bands. Alternative Lifestyles. Handcrafts. Meditation. Dance and Mime. Comedy. Huge Variety of Food. Fresh Juices. Cool Drinks.”

Comparative to preceding festivals, Narara took a modern approach, with a large focus on new wave rock music rather than lifestyle activities.

The booklet stated: Untitled

“Narara isn’t making a big deal about the counter-cultural aspects-the organizers consistently avoided the word ‘festival’ for instance-but there is the intention that the event have more to it than a series of concert acts. Apart from stores, the bazaar will also feature information stalls from a wide range of groups such as Greenpeace, the Tasmanian Wilderness Society, NORML, and the Movement Against Uranium Mining.”

Source: http://australianmusichistory.com/narara-music-festival-1983/

This years Narara seems geared to share the same ‘no-nonsense rock and roll’ vibe the organizers stating, “There will be no folk, no alt-country, no electronica… just rock and blues”. They also are keeping it minimal as there will be no stalls or non-musical activities the organizers stating, “You can leave your yoga mat at home”. Their mission is to keep “the essence of the old-school festival, where music and the love of music created an energy all of its own”.

Source: http://themusic.com.au/news/all/2016/05/17/narara-music-festival-to-end-33-year-hiatus-in-may-2017/

Narara 1984 “The celebration continues” extended these sentiments featuring Australian and international acts. These included: Talking Heads, Mental As Anything, Simple Minds, Eurythmics, Hoodoo Gurus, Def Leppard, Sunnyboys, INXS and Australian Crawl. Less ticket sales, rainy weather and a presumed dearer bill lessened the success of the event.

Source: http://australianmusichistory.com/narara-music-festival-1984/

You can support the rebirth of Narara by visiting The Rhythm Hut, Gosford on the 11th of March at 7pm for the warm-up where you can purchase discounted tickets for the main event. For more information visit the Narara Music Festival website HERE


by Luka Osborne