Musos centrestage at Geraldton’s Funtavia

Francesca MannGeraldton Guardian
Funtavia music program director Alexia Parenzee said the three-day festival was an opportunity for Geraldton musicians to share their songs in a different light.
Camera IconFuntavia music program director Alexia Parenzee said the three-day festival was an opportunity for Geraldton musicians to share their songs in a different light. Credit: Daryl Wilson

There’s no denying Geraldton is home to a talented group of musicians.

Our pubs and bars are constantly brimming with solo artists, emerging singer-songwriters and fully fledged bands.

Some of Geraldton’s very best musos will feature heavily in Funtavia this week, thanks to a dedicated music program spearheaded by singer-songwriter Alexia Parenzee.

Running from February 7 to 9, Geraldton’s own Fringe World Festival Hub takes over neglected spaces in the city centre, giving homegrown artists the chance to perform alongside national and international acts.

Folk, country and blues musician Darcy Hay will present a collection of his original songs in That Oughta Cut It at Funtavia on Friday, February 8.
Camera IconFolk, country and blues musician Darcy Hay will present a collection of his original songs in That Oughta Cut It at Funtavia on Friday, February 8. Credit: Daryl Wilson

With more than 15 local musicians playing throughout the festival, Parenzee said Funtavia was a chance for artists to step outside the pub setting and perform to a whole new crowd.

“Funtavia is all about building a shared culture where people can appreciate and feel a part of the arts and express themselves,” she said.

“It’s the same with the artists. This is such a cool opportunity for musicians to connect with the audience.

“This is a great opportunity for local people to jump up on stage, and we want to get more of those ‘bedroom musicians’ that don’t play that often.

“And it’s refreshing to be able to see some of your favourite artists in a different light.”

Alongside free music in the Sand Bar every night, a few Geraldton musicians will also perform in ticketed events.

Emerging coastal folk-roots band Children of the Tide will headline Funtavia's Sand Bar stage on Saturday, February 9.
Camera IconEmerging coastal folk-roots band Children of the Tide will headline Funtavia's Sand Bar stage on Saturday, February 9.

A first for Funtavia is Songs from 6530, a showcase of local artists sharing stories through their music. Parenzee said each artist was asked to produce an original song for the show, exploring their experiences living in the Mid West.

“It’s a super unique show; there’s no talking, it’s just music,” she said.

“Some songs are instrumental — there’s no lyrics — and some are songs where people are singing along. But they’re all based on an experience, their connection to the landscape and country, the weather, anything that makes them think of home.

“This is them in their purest form with a song that’s never been heard before.

“Hopefully it inspires them to write their own music.”

Busking musicians will hit the Sand Bar stage every night from 5.30pm.

On Friday, February 8, prolific folk, country and blues musician Darcy Hay will present a collection of his original music in That Oughta Cut It.

Emerging coastal folk-roots band Children of the Tide will hit the Sand Bar stage on Saturday, February 9.

Tickets to all shows can be bought via www.funtavia.com.

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