If there was a light at the end of the COVID cloud that hung above the music industry over the past few years, it was undoubtedly the sunshine that came in the form of Wanderer Festival 2022.
Helmed by festival visionary, Simon Daly, and held at the picturesque Pambula Beach, down south on the Sapphire Coast of NSW, Wanderer Festival’s debut in late September was rich in both music and culture.
It was a three-day feast for the senses that offered punters a chance to enjoy great art and music while embracing the stunning coastal landscapes and be hosted by some of the friendliest folks you’ll ever meet.
A stark contrast to the sardine-packed, sweaty festivals of yesteryear, Wanderer’s amalgamation of music, workshops, comedy, circus, theatre and cabaret performances brought together a carefree crowd of all ages who were simply there to have a great time and soak up all the unique exhibitions that Wanderer had to offer.
Capped at 10,000 attendees, the festival also gave attendees a chance to indulge in a more intimate music experience with an epic lineup, with day one kicking off to a bluesy start with Josh Pyke, The Teskey Brothers and Emma Donovan & the Putbacks.
Day two ramped up as punters hit the front of the stage to mosh to the likes of Confidence Man, Wolfmother, and DZ Deathrays, along with the more chilled vibes of Winston Surfshirt and Ziggy Alberts.
The festival’s third and final day certainly didn’t disappoint, with Sarah Blasko, the Dandy Warhols, DMA’S and Harvey Sutherland getting festivalgoers in a frenzy as they wrapped up the epic weekend.
In what made for a truly multi-generational event, Wanderer Festival also featured a slew of family-oriented action such as The Burnt Sausages and Dr Hubble’s Bubble Show on the Lost Lands stage and the more outré indie acts, such as grentperez, Maple Glider and Old Mervs, on the Wanderer stage.
And while you’d imagine Dr Hubble’s Bubble Show would remain strictly kids, there were more than a few adults embracing their inner child (and having a blast doing so) as Dr Hubble sent bubbles made of dishwashing-liquid bouncing among the excited audience.
But it wasn’t just the festival itself that was full of magic – the Sapphire Coast in its entirety was truly a hidden gem, with its locals all joining forces to do their part during the festival weekend as visitors relished in what the coastal lifestyle had to offer.
Among the locals were the ever-accommodating Longstocking Brewery and Oyster Bar owners, Peter Caldwell and Joey Cunningham, who drove artists to and from the festival site while ensuring the brewery continued dishing its delectable wood-fired pizzas, laidback vibes, and epic cover tracks from local cover band SALT.
Some of the other spectacular activities to undertake in the area included guided dives of the wrecks, vibrant wharfs and shorelines in Eden, Merimbula and Tathra, as well as enjoying some freshly-shucked oysters from Lake Pambula’s Broadwater Oysters – which were also available at there festival’s food stalls.
Speaking of the community support thrown behind Wanderer Festival’s first (very successful), Simon Daly said, “I’ve only been here about three years. It’s just such a beautiful place to live. The beauty, the space, the people, and I feel so, so lucky to be a part of that
“The thing I really loved about it was it just felt so inclusive. Whether you were in your 60s, your 40s and 50s or early 20s, whatever age you are you felt like you were among your own.
Wanderer Festival is only set to get bigger and better – so do yourself a favour and don’t miss out on next year’s event.
Check out some of the highlights below.