One of the biggest changes to the Four Winds Festival this year was the dramatic venue change just days before the event due to the relentless rain and soggy grounds of the last few weeks.
Ironically enough, it remained dry over the weekend with the sunshine in full force on Sunday. The festival was held from Friday 15 until Sunday evening, April 17.
Festival Creative Director Lindy Hume said the Cobargo Showground Pavilion was turned into the "Cobargo Opera House" over the duration of the weekend and held a number of performances.
It held everything from Songs from Yuin Country on the Friday, chamber music and opera on the Saturday, festival conversations with Tamara-Anna Cislowska over the weekend, and the big finale day on Sunday evening.
"We did finally get a chance to bring people outside and into the landscape with the festival finale so we had William Barton, Véronique Serret, and Claire Edwardes who performed outside on the grass, which was brilliant," Ms Hume said.
Reports from individuals at the festival were that the different locations were easy to manage and navigate between, and the festival experience was still able to shine with food trucks and great coffee on site.
"All together it was a bit of a success really, the audiences had this feeling of adventure and kind of going out of their comfort zone of the Four Winds site and out into Cobargo, and the other off-site experience was at Tanja Navigate Arts and the Murrah Hall, where we played the films that we commissioned," Ms Hume said.
"We were on site for a couple of things but other than that we were up and down the Tathra-Bermagui road and out at Cobargo, so it was genuinely much more of a regional festival," she said.
The festival was mostly smooth sailing, apart a couple of "COVID causalities", including the musical director of Pinchgut Opera who was recovering from the virus.
The company demonstrated an impressive feat though when they managed to work out a system of "self-conducting" during their performance on Saturday evening.
Ms Hume said a big highlight of the festival was the amount of very talented local artists who were showcased, including Mikelangelo, Raechelle Kennedy, and the Djinama Yilaga Choir who paired with a group of musicians from Candelo for Songs from Yuin Country.
The festival also featured a viewing of Home Stretch, a series of performance videos commissioned by Four Winds Festival in 2021.
Home Stretch was based on an original concept by Ms Hume and accompanied by a commissioned poem by Raechelle Kennedy.
"There was a bit of a signature running all the way through of local stories and local people," Ms Hume said.
This was also Lindy Hume's final year as Creative Director and so she wanted to share a personal note that she found it a great pleasure and privilege to be involved in Four Winds in such a pivotal role.
"To able to pop out a couple of festival in my own home region was incredible.
"I look forward now to being involved in independent projects outside of Four Winds when I'm back in to the region more often.
Ms Hume lives from Tathra and Tasmania and has her life in two shared places at the moment. She said she has been developing projects for the future that will be on show next year.
Melbourne-based musician Matthew Hoy will be taking over as Creative Director for the 2023 festival.
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