Erica Warren has very fond memories of the time when the Illawarra Folk Festival was based in Jamberoo, before it moved elsewhere over 15 years ago.
“I was living in the States at the time of the move, and ever since I returned I’ve been thinking how good it would be for the town to bring the vibe back.
“It was just fantastic and has been sorely missed.
“There was so much happening in different venues around town, and musicians were jamming in the streets.
“It was its success that saw the folk club look for a more contained venue, but I think the village atmosphere was a key to that success.
“It really brought the town alive.”
While no longer involved with Jamberoo Pub, Erica has lived in the village since she was five and is passionate about ensuring its future.
Together with local musician Kane Dennelly, of the band 19-Twenty, she’s finally decided to act on that feeling.
In its first year, their Jamberoo Music Festival will be a one day celebration of roots, blues, indie and country music, with thirty acts performing over three indoor venues.
“Ticketholders will have access to performances at the School of Arts, Club Jamberoo and Jamberoo Youth Hall, so they will be able to choose their own program.
“Out on the streets we’ve organised an amazing mix of other free activities, including a busking competition, other performers and a market.
‘There’ll even be silent disco tours of the town –something everyone will love.”
She says locals are right behind the new festival.
“Everyone is pretty excited about it. There is a buzz already.”
She and Kane are already thinking a few years ahead, when the main street will be blocked off and concerts will happen on nearby properties and at places of interest.
“Jamberoo township and its escarpment surrounds create a natural hub,” she says. “It will really help give this village a focus to be proud of.”
The initiative has the backing of Destination Kiama, which sees its potential to generate overnight visitors.
Details: 21 July. Tickets $79; $39 conc and u/18; u/12 free with adult. jamberoomusicfestival.com