Waves of joy at Hyden’s Weekender festival

Neelam DajeeNarrogin Observer
Festivalgoers at Wave Rock.
Camera IconFestivalgoers at Wave Rock. Credit: Neelam Dajee/Pictures: Neelam Dajee, Neelam Dajee

Hyden hosted some 800 music and film fanatics at the annual Wave Rock Weekender festival on the long weekend.

The line-up included some of WA’s finest, with San Cisco, The Sunshine Brothers and Great Gable all playing sets.

The Sunshine Brothers celebrated the 15th Wave Rock festival by paying tribute to caravan park owner Sheenagh Collins and her late husband Dennis Collins.

The Collins’ have hosted the event for the entire 15 years and dedicate the entire caravan park, salt pond and surrounding area to the festival.

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New additions to the venue include outdoor decking, outdoor showers and shaded areas around the pond.

Festivalgoers at the rock.
Camera IconFestivalgoers at the rock. Credit: Neelam Dajee

There event also included wildflower spotting and birdwatching trip. There are more than 40 species of birds native to the region.

Midnight movies played until 4am every night, including Australian movies Deadman and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Partying aside, guests were treated to a choice between the top of Wave Rock or Lake Magic for their sunset view.

Great Gable’s lead guitarist Matt Preen said it was his second festival and that he would attend the weekend even if he was not performing.

“It’s a pretty special experience to be able to go there,” he said.

“Wave Rock is such a beautiful place. The drive up there is amazing as well.

The main stage set at Wave Rock
Camera IconThe main stage set at Wave Rock Credit: elam Dajee

“It is just a good vibe being there, everything is so chill.”

The 800-strong crowd meant musicians and punters could walk around freely day and night.

Preen sang the praises of WA bands, singling out Spacey Jane and Psychedelic Porn Crumpets for their sets.

Starting off their WA tour, it was the band’s second gig after the COVID-19 lockdown, with Fremantle, Bunbury, Margaret River, Dunsborough the Rosemount Hotel up next.

“How cool is it to have a festival while everything is still pretty hectic,” Preen said.

Great Gable (L-R): Matt Preen (lead guitar), Chris Bye (bass), Callum Guy (drums) & Alex Whiteman (vocals + guitar)
Camera IconGreat Gable (L-R): Matt Preen (lead guitar), Chris Bye (bass), Callum Guy (drums) & Alex Whiteman (vocals + guitar)

“I hope WA can stay like this because it is so good to have gigs and festivals back.”

Premier Mark McGowan said festivals could go ahead just days before the Weekender, leaving planners, musicians and caterers with plenty of work to do.

The Premier’s announcement was made on September 18, exactly one week before the start of the festival.

Festival goers at Wave Rock.
Camera IconFestival goers at Wave Rock. Credit: Neelam Dajee/Neelam Dajee

“We want people to feel confident about going to their local community fair, or even a music festival, which up until now has not been able to occur,” Mr McGowan said.

“Under this new system, music festivals can now be assessed and could be approved pending assessment of plans by the Department of Health.”

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