The sleepy town of Kiama will be shaking things up with some creative noise, bringing in five major music and arts festivals over the next five months. 

Clearly Music, Arts and Wellness Festival and Changing Tides will both be making their debut on the coast alongside other events, which collectively will bring in big acts including Jimmy Barnes, Spacey Jane and Skeggs to name a few. 

Tourism and Events Manager for Kiama Council Sally Bursell told UOWTV the town is eagerly awaiting the social and economic benefits of these festivals, ensuring the locals have been kept in mind. 

“We are not really known as a music festival destination and we are probably not looking for too many more. This number might be the threshold for Kiama,” Bursell said. 

“We do want to keep that village atmosphere in the town and not upset the locals, but I think the excitement that these festivals bring is really great for the town and I’m sure all the businesses are looking forward to reaping the benefits of that. 

“Particularly for young people post-COVID may feel like they miss out a bit and have to travel for an event like this so to provide an outlet to do this so close to home I think is really exciting for them.” 

 Local and UOW student Jasmine Jones has purchased tickets to the Changing Tides Festival and is impressed with how close and accessible some of her favourite acts will be. 

“It’s so amazing having these huge bands so close to where I live. It’ll be so much cheaper going to Kiama instead of travelling to Sydney or elsewhere,” Jones said. 

“I’m really looking forward to Spacey Jane and Dune Rats and I know so many people will be too. It’ll just really drive people into Kiama to enjoy festivals with a coastal vibe which will be great for local businesses too.” 

Whilst Kiama is continuing to evolve into a place where larger festivals can be held, Sally says there still does need to be constraints for the sake of the local community. 

“We are not going to have more than you know 6,000 people in one place, so we put limitations on events.” 

“For the people that do want to have festivals of that 10,000 plus they need to go somewhere a little bit bigger because we are conscious of keeping our community onside,” Bursell said. 

 The five festivals include: 

  • Folk By The Sea’ from the 22nd – 24th of September 
  • KISS Art Festival’ from the 20th – 22nd of October 
  • ‘Clearly Music, Arts and Wellness Festival’ on the 11th of November 
  • ‘Changing Tides’ on the 16th & 17th December 
  • Red Hot Summer’ on the 6th of January 2024 

Kiama’s Festival line up by UOWTV

Image credit: Kiama Municipal Council