The Wingham Akoostik Music Festival is three brilliant days of music, camping, food and more on the NSW Mid Coast.
The family-friendly Festival embraces a broad range of entertainment and cultural experiences, including on-site camping in the historic Wingham Showground, in the picturesque Manning Valley.
Held on the third weekend in October each year, the region’s temperate climate is part of the Festival’s widespread appeal, attracting both locals and visitors to the area, and providing social and economic benefits to the broader community.
The Festival is a volunteer managed and powered event, wholly presented by those that love the local community. Event volunteers peak at more than 140 during the Festival weekend, including students from local high schools and TAFE NSW. A dedicated core committee of 10 volunteers manage the ongoing administration, logistics, operations and marketing throughout the year.
Recognition and Awards
- The Wingham Akoostik Music Festival is recognised as a Regional Flagship Event by Destination NSW.
- It is also a Legendary Pacific Coast Gold 2016 Tourism Award Winner for North Coast Business Excellence.
- Winner, Community Event of the Year 2014, Midcoast Council Australia Day Awards.
- Nominated for a 2018 Green Globe Award.
Since its inception in 2007, the Festival has attracted visitors from near and far to enjoy three days (Friday-Sunday) of music, camping, performance, art, market stalls, great food and wine in a family friendly environment.
Recognised as one of the Mid Coast’s most vibrant events, the award-winning Festival promotes a mix of local and well-known musical performers, creative artists, local businesses and producers to the 4,800+ people who attend the event each year.
Numerous Australian musical icons have played on the Akoostik stage, including Russell Morris, Kasey Chambers, Ross Wilson, Shannon Noll, Joe Camilleri’s Black Sorrows, Backsliders, Grace Knight, James Reyne, Rick Price, Deborah Conway, Doc Neeson (The Angels), Richard Clapton, Wendy Matthews, Phil Jamieson (Grinspoon), Jenny Morris, Bill Chambers, Kevin Bennett, Afro Moses and Smokin’ Joe Robinson and many more. Performing alongside them are hundreds of local and regional touring artists, with the Festival’s aim to feature 70% local talent and indigenous representation forming a key part of the event’s culture and charm.
From humble beginnings, the Festival has evolved and now features circus performances, mass choir performances, roving entertainers, vinyl record collectors’ exhibitions and sales, yoga sessions, rock and gem displays, a ‘chill out’ art lounge and market stalls with home-made and home-grown, local products.
Along with entertainment and displays, the Festival also offers a variety of innovative workshops. These workshops enhance the event; broadening skills, encouraging creativity, inspiring upcoming artists and leaving a legacy within the community.
Workshop activities have included songwriting, vocal classes, mosaic art, drumming, percussion, guitar skills, African singing, youth musician mentoring, building with bamboo and sustainable timbers and choral workshops. The creative output of these workshops is displayed during the Festival weekend via performances, displays and demonstrations.
In 2016, the ‘Low and Slow’ barbeque competition, Smokin the Valley, added a new dimension and proved to be a winner, delivering on the Festival’s aim to promote local industry and attract tourists to region. The BBQ Challenge now attracts over 30 teams, along with 42 judges, each vying for first place in the heated cook-off.
In 2017, the Festival introduced a strong environmental substance with its War on Waste initiative. With a goal to achieve zero waste by 2020, the Festival reduced the number of discarded items sent to landfill from 100% in 2016 to 51% in 2017. Engaging a collaborative approach to waste management with its waste partners (Mid Coast Waste, JR Richards, Festival volunteers and patrons) along with life cycle sustainability strategies, the Wingham Akoostik Festival is leading the way with its environmental sustainability initiatives in the festival space.
The Committee also holds the Festival liquor license and is responsible for bar stocking, sales and staff. The Show Society provides the main bar staff with experienced volunteers also providing knowledge and insight from other larger festivals.