INTERNATIONAL FLAVOUR: New Zealander Jody Direen is heading to Ballina for the country music festival.
INTERNATIONAL FLAVOUR: New Zealander Jody Direen is heading to Ballina for the country music festival. Contributed

Ballina music festival is now international

FOR the first time, this year's Ballina Country Music Festival will have an international flavour.

It was announced in last week's Advocate that Kiwi singer Jody Direen will perform at the festival, to be held around Ballina from November 1-3.

Organiser Garry Lavercombe said it was festival founder, Carol Stacey, who was able to secure Direen for the Ballina event.

The Ballina performance is part of an Australian tour for the up-and-coming musician.

Mr Lavercombe said it was hoped that Direen would help spread the word about the Ballina festival in her home country.

He said this year's festival would the be the biggest in terms of the number of artists performing and the number of stages they will perform on at a count of seven.

Brothers 3, who have played at all seven Ballina Country Music Festivals, will be back again this year.

Locals may remember their first performances when they were aged in their early teens.

But they have made a name for themselves since those early days, appearing on the television show X Factor and touring around the country.

Strings were pulled so the trio could fulfil their commitment to perform at Ballina while they were contracted to the television show.

The brothers are ambassadors for the festival.

They will open the festival at the Cherry Street Sports Club's marquee stage on the back greens on Friday, November 1, in a free concert also featuring Kathryn Jones and the Billy Gudgeon Band.

The feature concert, and only ticketed event of the festival, will be the Travellin' Still -- The Songs of Slim Dusty show at the Cherry Street Sports Club on Saturday, November 2.

Tickets to that event cost $20 and are available online or from the club.

You can catch the free shows at two stages at the Cherry Street Sports Club, the Slipway Hotel in Ballina, which has come on board for the first time, the Shaws Bay Hotel, the Westower Tavern, the Hotel Henry Rous and The Wharf Bar and Restaurant.

Mr Lavercombe said there were plenty of opportunities to get out and listen to a variety of music, from bluegrass to traditional country and everything in between.

"It's just great entertainment,” he said.

Cherry Street won't be closed to traffic for this year's festival, but a free children's entertainment zone will be located at the back of the Cherry Street Sports Club.

More details on the festival can be found at ballinacountrymusic.com.



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