Imaginary Friends playing at the Nimbin Roots festival.
Imaginary Friends playing at the Nimbin Roots festival. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

Nimbin Roots Festival low on numbers but big on talent

THE Nimbin Roots Festival may have seen lower numbers than expected on the weekend but for the punters who joined the festivities they weren't disappointed to see the festival was big on talent.

The second annual music festival held at the Nimbin Showgrounds attracted acts from around the globe including folk soul reggae artist Knox who had travelled all the way from Fiji to the sleepy town in the hills.

With this year's event taking a step-up from last year, festival goers took advantage of full camping facilities and plenty of market tents and food stalls spread around the oval giving punters the energy to start dancing from early in the morning.

Punters spent three days drinking chai and listening to music from artists that rarely visit the Northern Rivers.

Festival organiser Xavier Avogniko said the festival had grown from its humble beginnings last year as two stages in the "bush" to having a real "festival vibe".

"I've spent a long time thinking about how I wanted the festival to play out and I'm pleased with the way it's gone," Mr Avogniko said.

TALENT POOL: Maricar Martizano, Issary Ketkul, Harry Waddington, Ebony Webb, Satima Ornano, Ry McLean and at front, Shoni Dawkins of Ya Kulchu Hip Hop and Salsa project at the Nimbin Roots Festival.
TALENT POOL: Maricar Martizano, Issary Ketkul, Harry Waddington, Ebony Webb, Satima Ornano, Ry McLean and at front, Shoni Dawkins of Ya Kulchu Hip Hop and Salsa project at the Nimbin Roots Festival. Mireille Merlet-Shaw

He said even though there had been less punters than expected, he was still glad to be bringing "good vibes" to Nimbin and the surrounding areas.

"The goal of the festival was to unite people in the community and by making the festival affordable and accessible we can get as many people as possible enjoying the event," he said.

One such person who was enjoying the vibe was performer Ebony Webb.

Miss Webb was part of a group of young people performing with the group Ya Kulcha who have received funding from the Byron Shire Council to promote events that bring together the youth of the Byron Shire.

"We've been teaching hip hop and salsa at barbecue events and at the festival we're collaborating with the group Sista Gurls and we're hoping to get everyone up and dancing at our performance," Miss Webb said.

Youth worker and dance mentor for Ya Kulcha Daniella Finkenauer said the group had been working hard for months leading up to their performance at the Nimbin Roots Festival.

"Some of the kids have been driving from really far away to the coastal areas just so they can practice for this event," Ms Finkenauer said.

Mr Avogniko said he plans to return next year and one day hopes the festival will be just as big as Bluesfest one day



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