Four Winds announce 2018 Easter Festival lineup

Four Winds artistic director James Crabb at the central site of the Easter Festival, known as "Nature's Concert Hall." Photo: Chris Sheedy
Four Winds artistic director James Crabb at the central site of the Easter Festival, known as "Nature's Concert Hall." Photo: Chris Sheedy

The events team at Four Winds are warming up for their next Easter time Festival, with artistic director James Crabb in town to announce the line up.

From Good Friday to Easter Sunday, the biennial festival draws in a daily crowd of around 1000 people to the unique outdoor amphitheater, “Nature’s Concert Hall.”

Beyond the grounds of Four Winds, other pop up events are scattered throughout Bermagui and surrounding areas, a free performance in Bermagui on Good Friday will kick off the festival. 

Contributing artists will also travel the region over the course of a week to bring their musical talents to local schools and encourage students to engage with music. 

Youth activites will also be held at the festival and visitors under 16 enjoy free entry to the event. The activities have a focus on percussion, movement and audiovisual sampling.

“Visitors are invited to collect sounds and video from around the festival and use it to create a digital recreation of the event they can share online,” Mr Crabb said. 

“We know that posting videos online is something that anyone can do, but with this workshop you are collaborating with musical professions which adds that extra creative element.” 

This year the event will be hosted by ABC Classic FM presenter Guy Nobel, who will introduce each performance in an engaging, entertaining and educational way.

Drawcard performances for next year’s festival include the music of Golijov, a South American composer, inspired by the melting points of cultures. His work is a personal favourite of Mr Crabb.

Executive director David Francis’ pick is the Haydn performance, known as the “father of symphony”, his work is described as quirky and uplifting.

Returning to the event is UK violinist Jack Liebuck, who was a tremendous hit with the crowd at the previous Four Winds Festival. 

Three new musical pieces have been commissioned for the festival, from Damien Barbeler, Gerard Brophy and American Timothy Geller.

Mr Crabb said it was Four Winds’ responsibility to foster these new works after their inaugural performances at the festival. 

“These works have come about because of the festival, so we need to spread them across the music scene  and continue to breath life into them,” he said.

Things will get theatrical at the Four Winds Festival, with a performance showcasing significant theatre works and allowing the musicians to express themselves in unique and unexpected ways during the performance. 

“Think of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party or twisted fairground,” Mr Francis said. 

“Theatre music is a part of classical music, but we rarely get to see it, so expect to see the performers break out of their dinner suits.”

For people who have never experienced Four Winds before, Mr Crabb said they could expect an immersive experience that goes beyond the classical music hall. 

“It really sheds those conventions, you can experience world class music in a relaxed atmosphere, which is really refreshing,” he said. 

“It allows both the artists and the audience to experience music in a new way because of the interweaving of art and nature together.”

Tickets for the 2018 Four Winds Festival will be released Friday, September 22.

Related coverage: