Alissa & Bruce are Xabc Entertainment, and as the name suggests they met there as ABC TV crew, working on many high profile television programs during their time there.
After leaving the ABC we worked as a production company on the Central Coast producing Documentaries, Corporate Video’s, Music Video’s and Commercials, working for the local council and getting to know the community in general.
After a car accident Bruce turned to music in my rehabilitation. Having always loved listening and playing music, Bruce now truly understood the power of it’s healing and turned to promoting music and touring International Artists across Australia. Past tours include the legendary artists Charlie Musselwhite, Joe Louis Walker and John Hammond.
Xabc also pride’s itself on lending it’s services to the promotion of the community based festival, Patonga Blues Across the Bay Festival, in Beautiful Patonga, on the NSW Central Coast.
The inaugural Girrakool Blues Festival 2016, had nothing but compliments, for the one day event. 12 bands, including 1 International, over 2 stages and it was HOT – very HOT.
So for 2017 we decided to up it – big time – but the weather had other ideas, the skies opened up! It was the beginning of Cyclone Debbie! So 20 Bands, Including 3 Internationals were squeezed onto one stage – as one stage had to be canceled – and what come out was an all day sound wall of music! It did stop raining – sometimes – and the gum boots just fitted in with the festival vibe.
Bruce and Alissa decided for the 2018 event to add the Big Top Tent to make sure everyone is comfortable no matter the weather, which meant moving to the Event Park! It is an added risk, financially, but they believe the festival needs to have the infrastructure to grow and to attract more people.
The outstanding line up this year consists of 18 Bands, including 3 internationals – of which 1 is from the UK, a first for Girrakool. And a swagger of Australia’s Best Blues from around the country. We have such a wide range of blues and roots acts to entertain everyone. From the Urban Blues of Chicago, Memphis Soul, Hill-Country, World-Blues, Folk-infused, Boogie, Funk, Blues Rock, and everything inbetween plus much more to even mention here.
The BBQ Competition has grown from the last event to include 35 teams, that’s almost triple from last years 12 teams, and is now open to public on Sunday for Demonstrations & Kids Activities.
Thanks for support #blues & the music industry as a whole. We need sustainable events like this one to help support our musicians!!!
(Picture: Grammy Nominated Cedric Burnside Project (USA) from Girrakools line up 2016. Photo by Alissa Johnson Xabc Photography)
THE CENTRAL COASTS VERY OWN ANNUAL WORLD-CLASS MUSIC FESTIVAL
Girrakool Blues Festival & BBQ named after the nearby waterfalls, and quite befittingly is Aboriginal for “Place of still water” ie Muddy Waters, will be held on the first weekend in March every year.
In a New Orleans styled theme, the Festival will feature a wonderful weekend of quality, international, national and local blues and roots acts, within the beautiful surrounds of Mt Penang Parklands, in a family friendly, relaxed atmosphere.
Patrons can bring their rugs and chairs to enjoy the world-class music, and soul food from our selectively picked stalls, including a unique American Southern style BBQ, and local artist stalls.
The “Girrakool Stage” will be under the BIG TOP TENT, to protect patrons from any weather condition.
Apart from the music it will have a strong Aboriginal content, with indigenous bands, Welcome to Country Ceremony, Womens activities and with the potential of short tours to the Girrakool waterfalls and engravings.
A UNIQUE WEEKEND AWAY
Girrakool Blues Festival & BBQ is the Central Coasts own world class music festival for all the community who loves music, fine food, culture and a great relaxing day out.
This festival is for Families and music lovers from the Central Coast and beyond who are looking to see live music at a reasonable price, where they know they will have a great time; within beautiful surrounds; where the children are welcome; the acts are of high quality; with great food and value for money.
The beauty of music is that it’s a universal language for all and we expect patronage will consist of the very young spaning to the considerably older folk of the Central Coast, due to the easy accessability of the Mt Penang Gardens.
Males, females, families, lovers, music lovers, event stalkers (socialities), from the struggling to the affluent, from the artistic to the intellectuals, will all enjoy the Girrakool Blues Festival.
Girrakool is bound to meet everybody’s needs Culturally, spiritually and musically – whether it’s the gardens and the surrounds; whether families would like a day out or whether music lovers are looking to see quality music.
Mt Penang Parklands is the perfect place for a day of fun and music. Situated conveniently between Newcastle and Sydney, and only a 2 minute drive from the M1 Motorway. It is also just short trip from either the Woy Woy (15 mins) or Gosfords (10 Mins ) Train Station.
The Fesitval will be held in the event park of the parklands. Previously held in the gardens of the parklands, organisers moved the festival to the event park to include a BIG TOP TENT for the comfort of all.
BBQ COMPETITION ” THE STAND OFF”
Xabc’s love of American Southern food will be on display at Girrakool Blues Festival offering a unique point of difference from other festivals, yet synonymous with blues music in the United States.
2018 will see the 2nd Annual BBQ Stand Off – an Australasian BBQ Alliance Endorsed BBQ Competition, with entry to all things BBQ on Sunday 4th, with demonstrations and kids activities.
While you won’t be able to eat from BBQ Competition Teams, Texas styled slow cooked BBQ will be on the menu through our food stalls with everything from Beef brisket, pulled pork and chicken wings served traditionally with slaw and smoked corn and potatoes.
It is important to us at Girrakool BF & BBQ to have our aboriginal brothers and sisters represented along side us. Since the Central Coast is rich in tradition, engravings and dreamtime stories, we welcome their inclusion into the festival. Set among the Bottle Tree section of the gardens, patrons will be able to immerse themselves in our first peoples heritage and ceremonies.
Not only that, we are more than excited to have high profile indigenous artists performing at Girrakool.