The biggest Gum Ball in the event’s 15-year history returns on Anzac Day, Thursday, April 25 and runs until midday on Sunday, April 28. The four-day festival is a smorgasbord of activity, with organisers recently announcing an extensive program of activities for old and young punters alike. Heading the lineup is the towering titan of Aussie rock and his new outfit, Tex Perkins & The Fat Rubber Band. As the voice of the mighty Beasts of Bourbon, The Cruel Sea, Tex, Don and Charlie, Tex Perkins and the Dark Horses and the sell-out hit Johnny Cash tribute – The Man in Black, Tex has etched his name into the annals of Australian music history.
Sampa the Great is one of the most important artists in the country. Small in stature but giant in voice, the Zambia-born Botswana-raised singer, rapper and poetic lyricist tackles big issues and ideas with her hybrid of hip hop, soul, traditional African and pop.
Besides adding even more acts to the already robust bill, like Central Australian desert reggae outfit Tjupi Band, raw rock duo The Ruiins and the harp-inflected soundscapes of Newcastle’s Morgana Osaki, The Gum Ball has also announced a new element – The Tractor Shed.
The Tractor Shed is an intimate space that will host live Q&As with Gum Ball headline artists like Magic Dirt, Mojo Juju, and Tamam Shud. There’s also be a screening of Waiting, an Australian documentary about cult American musician Van Duren, who will also be performing at Gum Ball and doing a live Q&A about the film. Added to that will be two comedy showcases curated by Newcastle’s Big Dog Comedy and a talk from author Stuart Coupe about his hit book Roadies.
The line-up for the popular Sunday Wind Down so far features internationally acclaimed songwriter Ben Salter, and Hunter Valley favourites Demi Mitchell, Dave Wells and Andy Abra & Big River.
The Gum Ball will again be a child-friendly experience. The little ones will love clowning around in the Circus Playground, gawking at the reptile show, mask-making and theatre games with Curious Legends and puppet-making with The Squeaking Tribe. The House of Big Dreams crèche service also returns, so parents can drop the little ones off and enjoy the incredible live music. Not to mention free morning yoga classes for the energetic.
This year’s Gum Ball food line-up features flavours from around the world, with beloved Newcastle tastemakers Bao Brothers joined by East Coast Paella Co., Rustic Pizza, Cyprus Kitchen, Natural Pancake Co and vego/vegan delights from Funky Food Van.
For more information and tickets visit www.thegumball.com.au