Jimmy Budgen on the banks of Mitchell Creek yesterday. The creek runs through the property where the Mitchell Creek Rock and Blues Festival starts this morning.
Jimmy Budgen on the banks of Mitchell Creek yesterday. The creek runs through the property where the Mitchell Creek Rock and Blues Festival starts this morning. Craig Warhurst

More than 80 artists on Kandanga music festival line-up

THERE is a vast, open paddock with a natural ampitheatre and a spring-fed creek at Upper Kandanga that will reverberate to the sounds of Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin this weekend at the second Mitchell Creek Rock and Blues Festival.

Normally dotted with not much more than cattle, piles of manure, bunya pines and towering eucalypts, the 36ha paddock was also dotted with lines of tents, hay bales, two stages and a huge central marquee yesterday.

Organiser Jimmy Budgen, a laid-back character with an impressive looking electric guitar and a passion for music and the Mary Valley, said yesterday 1500 tickets had

already been sold to the event, but that he and his mates (co-organisers) had made sure there were a few hundred left to sell at the front gate this weekend.

The festival aims to be sustainable and to promote and bolster the Mary Valley.

Only locally grown produce is used for the catering, and only local people are employed to help pull it all together.

Its entertainment line-up is a mix of local talent and professionals from further afield, including last year's Australia female blues artist of the year, Ali Penney and the Money Makers.

The inaugural festival last year went for just one night and attracted hundreds of patrons despite not being advertised.

It was a huge success.

This year it goes for three days and has an 80-artist line-up.

But is is still intimate. It's not about making big bucks. Camping is free and it's BYO drinks.

The website sums it up well: "Experiences like the Mitchell Creek Rock N Blues Fest are designed to get you out of dodge and take you on an adventure that connects you with friends, soul and roots music and like-minded people in an intimate and inspirational setting.

"The camping is high brow with toilets, showers, food - you'll be dry, clean and never more than 100m from food, light, power, bins, facilities and music."

To get to the site, drive 9km through Kandanga, go over Doyles Bridge, turn left on to Mitchell Creek Rd and into the festival valley.