After the resounding success of last year’s inaugural Surf Unearthed, the gig for unsigned musos will return to the sand at First Point, Noosa – but this year, there’s a twist.
In 2015, we opened the stage to three unsigned acts for an evening of surf-inspired music by the younger generations. Three acts, The GoGetters, Tea Society and Hobo Magic, wowed the festival crowds with disparate mix of folk, punk, blues and good old rock n’ roll.
“The crowd was awesome,” says the GoGetters’ front man, Fin Wegener. “That was easily the most people we’d seen from the stage. We did have a really amazing time, the stoke on being included with Sunshine Coast staple bands Hobo Magic and the Tea Society, along with the energy from the crowd and it being our first ‘real stage’ made for an unforgettable show.”
With a large crowd and the social media coverage gained, there was more to the event for these young acts than simply getting to play on a ‘real stage’.
“The exposure we got from the gig was definitely noticeable, especially in the Noosa surf scene,” Fin continues. “I had quite a few guys at (Noosa Festival music venue) Café Le Monde and the beach bar lean on my shoulder and slur compliments about our stage presence, amusing and unique feedback coming from them all. The set also received a pretty positive review in an online music blog and we had our first managing offer; both really pumped us up.”
“We actually teed up a slot at an upcoming Full Moon Dance in 2016 which we’re stoked about,” adds Tea Society’s Jacob, “as well as that a couple of gigs at Crawdaddy’s in Noosa. The exposure was very beneficial.”
The stage is set for a 2016 reprisal of Surf Unearthed but this year, rather than simply submitting expressions of interest, potential acts will need to compete in a series of heats for the privilege of taking to the Zinc Beach Stage at this year’s Noosa Festival of Surfing.
Heats will take places across each Sunday in February to decide the finalists, and Surf Unearthed presenters, Café Le Monde are taking applications now. Applicants must be unsigned, independent artists from solo to four-piece.
Musical genres for the competition are diverse, but are required to be loosely classified as folk, roots, rock, surf or psychedelic rock. Originally opened as an under-21 contest, a swathe of entries and popular demand has initiated organisers to extend the age range to 30 years old or under, all performers of bands required to be within the designated age bracket.
Fin, a lifelong Noosa local and now performing as the solo venture, Goth Day Out, was thrilled at the response he received for last year’s Surf Unearthed performance:
“Being able to put on a show to so many familiar faces and have such a positive reception definitely put my confidence on another level, the whole band felt that energy too and we went really hard.
“The band definitely enjoyed the exponentially larger fanbase after the gig – a few days later we saw girls we didn’t know quoting our songs in Instagram photos. Unfortunately only my drummer hung around long after the show, but from what I hear he definitely wasn’t lonely. Playing the Noosa festival was definitely a big stepping stone for us all, huge thanks to everyone who made it happen and who value young music!”
If you or your band would like to enter the 2016 Surf Unearthed competition for the chance to perform live on the beach at the 25th Anniversary Laguna Real Estate Noosa Festival of Surfing this March, please email media links, band photos and bio to firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact email@example.com for additional information.