Mullum Music Festival 2013 – Satisfaction +

What do you need most from a music festival to go home feeling satisfied?

For me the two most important things are:

  1. some amazing music; and
  2. a good, friendly community of people to share the festival experience with.

I went home from Mullum Music Festival 2013 having experienced both of those things plus more.

Mullum Music Festival - 2013 -

Amazing Music

The more amazing music you hear at a festival the better, right?  Of course.

But me I’ll go home musically satisfied if I’ve heard at least one artist who absolutely blew me away. Some music that moves me to a place where I am truly present in the moment with it. Without thoughts. Just feelings. Magnificent ones.

Barefoot Divas Were the One

This year at Mullum Music Festival the Barefoot Divas were the artists who put me in that place. Their powerful show on Saturday night made every part of my being feel alive. It was hard for me to come back into my mind, and to talk to people afterwards. I wanted to stay in that place of goodness the Barefoot Divas had taken me to.

Barefoot Divas - Mullum Music Festival - 2013 -

Each of the 6 Barefoot Divas are incredibly talented and well established independent female artists in their own right.

Ursula Yovich (Serbia/Burrara)

Ursula Yovich (Serbia/Burarra)

Merenia (Maori/Welsh/Romany Gypsy)

Merenia (Maori/Welsh/Roma Gypsy)

In this show together, the unique artistry and personality of each woman is given space to shine as they generously share through spoken word, poetry and song, aspects of their respective Indigenous heritage, cultures and personal life experiences. The content is socially and politically conscious. Delivery is with heart and soul.  The result is inspiring.

Ngaiire ( Papua New Guinea)

Ngaiire (Papua New Guinea)

Whirimako Black (Maori)

Whirimako Black (Maori)

Maisey Rika (Maori)

Maisey Rika (Maori)

Emma Donovan was missing from the Mullum shows 🙁 .

Emma Donovan-Barefoot Divas

Emma Donovan (Gumbayngirr NSW)


Not for a long time has a musical experience moved me as much as the Barefoot Divas did. Everyone at their Saturday night show I could eventually speak to afterwards, felt the same way.

Check out these videos from their Mullum Music Festival shows

Merenia Gillies

Ursula Yovich



Since there’s no videos here of 3 of the Divas, you can listen to some sample tracks by them from the Barefoot Divas (live) album – Walk A Mile In My Shoes.

Walk a Mile In My Shoes

Walk a Mile In My Shoes-Barefoot Divas (live)

Repeat Offender (live)  – Maisey Rika (Barefoot Divas)

Wahine Whakairo (live) – Whirimako Black (Barefoot Divas)

Ngarraanga (live) – Emma Donovan (Barefoot Divas)


Videos or low quality mp3s can never compare to the live experience with these beautiful artists and women, and the great band of musicians playing with them. They’ll give you just a bit of an idea until you can find yourself a live show to get to (North America or Canada early 2014 anyone?).

Barefoot Divas - Mullum Music Fest - 2013 -


Around The World With Greg Sheehan

Greg Sheehan is one of Australia’s most respected, innovative and brilliant percussionists.  I’ve said those type of things before about other percussionists, but hearing Greg Sheehan play makes me want to take some of my words back.

The 2013 Mullum Music Festival was deservedly dedicated to him.

Greg Sheehan

Greg Sheehan

In his Sunday night show at the Civic Hall, Greg Sheehan put together a collective of some of Australia’s other finest musicians. They took us on a world-wide journey of his musical life and influences – finishing it back in Indigenous Australia with dance artists joining them on stage for a unique hip hop & traditional Aboriginal dance fusion.

Greg Sheehan - Mullum Music Festival - 2013 -

Charles Wall

Ben Walsh (The Bird, Circle of Rhythm, PNOMAD, Orkestra of the Underground, The Crusty Suitcase band, Groovelands Soundsystem), Charles Wall (aka Bobby Alu + Kooii) and Matt Ledgar (Wild Marmalade) were the percussionists amongst them.

Cye Wood

Cye Wood

Within the percussion heavy collective were Cye Wood on violin and Matt Ostila on bass, both rising high to their grand melodic challenge. Matt Ostila’s skills on the bass especially impressed me at this gig.


Very short taste of Greg Sheehan’s gig here…


Jaaleekaay – The One That Got Away

Jaaleekaay are an Australia/Gambia convergence between guitarist Steve Berry, phenomenal young Kora player Amadou Suso, and vocalist Yusepha Ngum.

Theirs was the music at Mullum Music Festival that absolutely blew my friends away, and I missed 🙁 .



I’m sure from the program there were others great artists too, probably some amazing ones. I missed 2 of the 4 festival days. On those 2 days I was feeling a bit lazy thanks to good people to talk with plus some Australian festivals fatigue 🙂.

2013 Artists

2013 Artists

Check out some videos here of 2 other quality festival acts I caught…


Brisbane’s Kingfisha – sounding stronger with each gig of theirs I hear – and playing 3 great new tracks, including this one here…


Raul Midon

 Jazz/r&b/flamenco fusion artist from the U.S.A, Raul Midon – singer, guitarist, percussionist and trumpet vocalist all in one….


“That’s what it’s all about”

At the end of the festival when my friend and I swapped Barefoot Divas and Jaaleekaay stories, he said this:

Having those incredible music experiences is what it’s all about, isn’t it. That’s why we come. That’s why I play music.

Amen to that my friend.

Mullum Music Festival Community

Even with some amazing music, a festival experience can be damaged by sharing it with a not-so-friendly or respectful community of festival goers right?  For me, definitely.

Every one of the Mullum Music Festival venues (12) I went to was filled with friendly music appreciators of all ages – and those good friendly vibes we want.

Mullum Music Festival - 2013 - www.beaveronthebeats.comMullum Music Festival - 2013 -

The Magic and Red Buses that can take you between venues and will keep you in music mode, are also filled with those good people.


Mullum Music Festival - 2013 - www.beaveronthebeats.comMullum Music Festival - 2013 - www.beaveronthebeats.comMullum Music Festival - 2013-

There are friendly people hanging out in the Mullumbimby streets too. I think they’re even happier for the music played by buskers  – as well as the many musicians in Sunday’s Street Parade, including Festival Director Glenn Wright on trombone.

Mullum Music Festival - 2013 - www.beaveronthebeats.comMullum Music Festival - 2013 -

Everyone at the Mullum Music Festival was happy to be there – happy to be a part of and contribute to this special community event.  Those people (plus the music and more) make it the great festival it is…

  • The colorful locals of Mullumbimby and its luscious surrounding region. After 6 years of hosting the festival it seems to have become an integral part of their community life. Festival tickets are reasonably priced too, making it accessible to more of the community than most other Australian festivals are.

Mullum Music Festival - 2013 -

  • Australian and international festival punters who make the pilgrimage to be there – warmly and proudly welcomed by the local folks.
  • The many volunteers who festival runnings heavily rely on.
  • Music artists – lots of local ones + visiting national and (thankfully) some international ones – happy for a music-appreciating crowd to share their music with.
  • Other creative artists contributing through theatre, dance, sculpture, workshops, circus and of course, the Bongo Bus.
  • Police & security – well, there wasn’t really any. No need.

Mullum Music Festival  = Satisfaction +

Blessed by some amazing music and more great music whilst hanging out with the friendly festival folks in their beautiful green town, I left Mullumbimby feeling satisfied. I would happily be a part of the Mullum Music Festival community again.

Mullum Music Festival - 2013 -

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