Music offers relief to fire devastated community
FIRES did not deter people from attending Mullum Music Fest over the weekend, with Saturday's events sold out and Sunday seeing hundreds of people in the town's main street for the wrap-up parade.
Yesterday at 11am hundreds of festival goers dressed in costumes and colourful clothing to dance and sing along Dalley St to kick off the last day of Mullumbimby's festival and celebrate the past four days.
The festival's general manager, Nino Haggith, said the fires didn't deter people from attending the festival but the mood of the event went "up and down" over the weekend as smoke blew over the town.
"There is a mood in the air and intensity in the air but I think going forward was the best thing that we could have done for the community," Mr Haggith said.
"On Saturday, it was quite smoky in town but as soon as that lifted, I noticed everybody started coming out again and it was a bit cooler and we had a really wonderful Saturday night."
Mr Haggith said this year's event, themed "discovery", engaged more than 60 local, national and international musicians playing across eight main stages in Mullumbimby.
"We're offering relief to everybody," he said.
Mullumbimby resident Sharon Shostak said the festival was an "amazing example" of how music could bring words to the despair and powerlessness that people might be feeling as a result of the fires.
"Even though there is this catastrophe going on this is a way we can be warm, be inspired, be connected and get support," Ms Shostak said.
"The music festival has come in under this haze of smoke as this warm, glowing sense of community and incredible artistic expression which unites everybody."
Ms Shostak said one of her favourite acts was multi-award winning Australian songwriter and cellist Monique Clare, who played at the Drill Hall Theatre.
Event officials worked with local authorities to ensure fires were monitored throughout the event.