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We Can See Clearly Now

A three-stage, all-ages music event, Clearly Music, Arts & Wellness Festival will feature live music, art exhibitions and wellness activations

Gretta Ray


A brand-new Australian festival experience lands on November 11th when Clearly Music, Arts & Wellness Festival kicks off its inaugural event on the waterfront location of Kiama Showground in Dharawal Country.

A three-stage, all-ages music event, Clearly Music, Arts & Wellness Festival will feature live music (naturally!), art exhibitions and wellness activations with a pledge to “spotlight the diverse community groups that represent the creative life of the Illawarra region.”

Leading the musical charge is festival favourite Xavier Rudd. The multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter recently gave fans and followers a behind the scenes insight into life on the road with a four-part documentary series, Xavier Rudd – Live on Tour, which can be streamed on his YouTube channel.

Filmed and edited by Wander Andringa, the series captures life on the road during Rudd’s European Jan Juc Moon album tour in 2022. Rudd’s inclusive approach to his following also saw him invite them to send in videos of their own travel adventures, which have been included in the video clip for his aptly titled song, “Road Trippin’”.

Also revealed as special guests are Peter Garrett & the Alter Egos, fresh off the announcement of his new solo album, True North. Due in March 2024, the album was produced and mixed by Tony Buchen (the Smashing Pumpkins, Montaigne, G Flip, Tim Finn) with a band featuring Garrett’s Midnight Oil bandmate Martin Rotsey (guitar), Heather Shannon (The Jezabels, piano and keys), Evan Mannell (drums), Rowan Lane (bass) Freya Schack-Arnott (cello) and Ollie Thorpe (pedal steel). Two of Garrett’s daughters, May and Grace, also contributed vocals to several tracks.

“With the Oils, and even the first solo record, there was plenty of banging down the doors and speaking out about the things that need to change”, Garrett wrote on his website last week.  “There’s still a bit of that in this album too of course but generally these songs are reflective of the special things we need to cherish; the natural world as well as our always spinning internal compass, that helps us navigate the unruly passage of life.”

Beloved Aussie surf brats Skegss love a ‘fezzy’ just as much as anyone and are a welcome inclusion at Clearly. The band farewelled bassist Toby Cregan in an emotional set at Splendour in the Grass back in July, but true to form Ben Reed and Jony Lani have continued with mystery fill-in bass player and delivered cracking sets at the recent Out of the Woods festival in Fremantle and The Courtyard Presented by Rolling Stone at SXSW Sydney last week.

With new music expected in 2024, Ruby Fields has been evoking the wide-ranging creative instinct espoused by Clearly festival with a collaboration announced last week. The beloved singer/songwriter has teamed with Byron Bay clothing brand Thrills Co on a collection called Damage Control.

“As Ruby continues to shape the future of Australian music with her distinctive voice and magnetic stage presence, we’re thrilled to announce the release of our new ‘Damage Control’ collection featuring Ruby and her family of band mates Adam, Pat and Tas,” Thrills Co shared via Instagram.

“This collection, featuring denim, new graphics, and innovative silhouettes, perfectly mirrors Ruby’s own blend of authenticity and bold self-expression, making it the ideal choice for those looking to infuse their wardrobe with the same raw energy that defines Ruby Fields’ music.”

It’s been a big couple of months for Gretta Ray, the Melbourne/Naarm singer/songwriter recently released her sophomore album, Positive Spin, which hit number three on the ARIA charts and was a triple j Album Of The Week.

Ray subsequently kicked off her national ‘Big Pop Show’ tour, filling theatres across the country. While the build-up to an album release comes with a lot of pressure, she noted how joyful it was to return to live performance.

“It’s easy throughout an album campaign to become so consumed by the work and the process, that you start looking for gaps – what am I not doing enough of/how can I improve at a faster pace/what’s missing here?” Ray said in a Facebook post after the tour wrapped up.

“I’ve done a lot of this kind of thinking this year, and while on one hand I believe it’s important to push yourself, I also believe that this mindset can make it challenging to celebrate when really special, good things happen, and when progress is being made.

“A month ago, I truly believed that this whole year had been leading up to the album’s release day, or the day that it would chart… but when I stepped out onto stage that first night in Brisbane, and I saw how many of you were there and how excited you were, I instantly remembered – of course. THIS is what it’s all about. It’s you, me and the music, in one room, scream-singing, dancing and jumping, creating memories that we’re all going to tell our kids about one day. I love you, and I feel that there’s been a shift with the ‘Big Pop Show’… I think this is just the beginning for us.

Currently touring the UK with Maisie Peters, Ray plays a headline show in London at The Lower Third on November 7th, before making it back just in time for Clearly.

Joining the above artists at Clearly Music, Arts & Wellness Festival are Tyne-James Organ, Big Twisty & The Funknasty, Hope D, Emily Wurramara, Stevan, Gully Days, Double Barrel and The Polymics. The DJ lineup includes Ben Gerrans, Groove Society, Sasha Milani, C8i, Clay Zane, Em Gurr, Haylee Karmer, Just Tneek, Le Crockett, Leena Nees, Purejoy and Roxy Lotz.

A lead-in to the festival experience on November 10th will be Clearer Workshop, a one-day conference and collaborative learning experience to be held at Kiama Pavillion. Industry leaders spearheaded by Michael Chugg AM and Peter Garrett AM will share industry knowledge designed to create clearer pathways to success for all kinds of musical creatives.

Full details can be found at clearlyfestival.com