Steve and Jo Mitcham had the perfect venue, a spectacular property with a natural amphitheater in Gidgegannup, just 45 minutes from Perth.
The first year kicked off with 14 bands playing at a low-key Gidgestock in October 2015 to an 'invitation only' audience, who loved what they experienced. All profits from that first year went to the Kalamunda Community Radio building fund.
Last year around 300 people attended the day-and-a-half festival on what were beautiful sunny days and a chilly night, making the six fire pits much in demand.
Firepits provide both warmth and atmosphere. Picture supplied.
Bands played through the afternoon and into the evening until midnight before hardy campers headed to their tents. They were up on Sunday for a cooked breakfast and ready for a relaxed live music session.
The Gidgestock Experience is based on the Woodstock theme of peace, love and great music. Just as Woodstock was the launch pad for many top names in the music industry, Gidgestock is aimed at promoting talented emerging WA bands and solo performers from mixed genres.
There will be 16 performers at Gidgestock over the day-and-a-half festival. Picture supplied.
All musicians donate their services for free enabling the festival to donate all profits to worthy local causes. This year it will again be Manna Inc. and the West Gidgegannup Volunteer Fire Brigade.
This year's third annual Gidgestock Music Festival to be held on October 14 and 15 is set to take the musical festival to the next stage. The venue has had a substantial upgrade to the amphitheater and the addition of an extensive compacted gravel dance arena to improve on last year's rather bumpy dance floor.
Outstanding local musicians will be playing from 11.30am to midnight on Saturday October 14 and from 8am to noon on Sunday October 15.
The grounds provide plenty of space to camp overnight. Picture supplied.
Campers can spend Saturday night in a bush setting with live bands, campfires, rustic camping and dancing under the stars, then wake up to the call of the kookaburras on Sunday morning for more fabulous music and a hearty cook-up breakfast.
The family event has plenty of activities for the kids with a bouncy castle, sand pit, face painting, bubble wands, totem tennis and play dough.
Plenty of activity is planned for families. Picture supplied.
Last year around $5000 in profits was shared between Manna Inc., which has been working to feed homeless and underprivileged people in Perth for 20 years, and the West Gidgegannup Volunteer Fire Brigade which used the money to buy an automated fire hose reel for one of its trucks.
This year the event will feature 16 performers over the day-and-a-half festival. Bands this year are:
• Brufield Band, a five piece rock/pop/folkie ensemble who will be performing at 8pm on the Saturday. The band has played at many local festivals and also performed at Byron Bay's prestigious five-day BluesFest. They have released an EP and multiple singles and in 2016 toured the UK and Ireland and the east coast of Australia.
• Wildcards, a five-piece cover band with influences from rock, alternative, pop, funk, blues and disco will play at 6pm on the Saturday.
• The Moonlighters, playing at 7pm on the Saturday, have been playing around Perth at pubs, private parties and corporate gigs for eight years and are inspired by bands including CCR, Neil Diamond, Amy Winehouse, Beatles and many more.
• Bon's Salute, a tribute to AC/DC will be playing in the 5pm timeslot on the Saturday with their music from the Bon Scott era of AC/DC.
• Bughunt, a four-piece independent rock band will be playing original music in the 4pm slot. The band traverses rockabilly, power pop, funk and African influences as well as ballads. The line-up includes former members of AC/DC, bass player Rob Bailey and New Zealand Hall of Famers Golden Harvest drummer Merv Kaukau. Guitarist and songwriter Sandy McNab, ex Souls Aaah, has been the creative force behind the band since 2010 and Tanya Acquino, ex A Tad of Gumption fronts the band.
• Trio, Jimjam, renowned for its spell-binding harmonic arrangement of forgotten favourites will entertain from 3pm on the Saturday. The band features Suzanne Brown on vocals, cello, bass and piano, Stephen Beckwith on vocals and classical guitar and Jim McGuire on vocals, electric/acoustic guitar and mandolin. Their first album Child of the Universe has now been released.
• Electric violinist Rupert Guenther, who has played concerts in Australia, UK, Europe and the US, has released 27 albums of his own music since 2003. Trained as a virtuoso concert violinist in Vienna, Rupert's music ranges across classical to ambient/world music and blues. He will be playing at 2pm on the Saturday.
• Hibiscus, an up and coming Indie rock band from Perth will be playing a mix of spirited rhythm, driven guitar riffs and catchy vocal melodies with cohesive harmony at 1pm. Their debut single Wish Away earned them a spot in 89.7fm's Top 20 WA Songs of 2016.
• The opening act at noon is WA Blues influenced Reggae and Roots trio Guthrie. Led by Darren Guthrie, with his good friends and local musicians Maxx Darter and Jase Le Scelle who use a variety of instruments in their compositions.
Other bands playing on the Saturday night are:
• The Vibrolators with their up-tempo blues and swing at 9pm on the Saturday; Moonshine Trust's mix of rock and blues, originals and covers; and Chain REACTION playing rock 'n' roll ballads and dance classics.
On the Sunday morning chilled out music will come from duo One Day, James Van Cooper, John Ralph and Twisted Herring.
Early bird tickets are available until September 23 online here.
Cost is $35 for early bird tickets bought prior to September 23 and covers music for Saturday and Sunday or $45 bought after September 23. Teenager's tickets are $10 and children under 12 are free.
For people wanting to camp overnight on Saturday there is an additional $20 fee, which includes breakfast on the Sunday.
There is also a $20 ticket for Sunday morning only which includes a cooked breakfast and live music from 8am to noon.
Food will be available for sale on Saturday afternoon and evening (cash only) or concert goers can bring their own food. A range of merchandise will also be available for sale.
Camping sites are not powered and people wanting to camp should bring their own tent, sleeping bags, insect repellents etc. There are hired toilets, but no shower facilities.
Full details of the event can be found online here or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Gates open at 10am on Saturday and patrons are encouraged to bring their own drinks, chairs and picnic rugs.
Gidgestock 2017 is at 64 Treechange Rise, Gidgegannup.