FEEL-good, alternative live music is coming to The Foundations Portland on April 14.
Ukulele strummer and drummer Bobby Alu and indie pop-rock duo This Way North are set to perform in the Powerhouse carrying tunes throughout the town as part of the Festival of Small Halls 2021 Autumn Tour.
The tour is set to travel around regional New South Wales in a four-week marathon of excellent music, community spirit and the finest of country hospitality.
The Foundations reactivation manager Rich Evans said the tour contacted him after they had a venue drop out, asking if Portland had a small hall.
"Whilst we don't have a small hall, we have a very community focused hall and that sort of fit in with what they wanted to achieve, bringing professional music to small regional communities," he said.
Mr Evans said it was a chance for something unique and alternative to come to Portland.
"What's really great is that it's the first professional touring sort of music production that we've had here in The Foundations," he said.
"We've done other events where music's been a part of it but as a dedicated professional music event, this is the first of its kind and what we hope will be the first of many."
He said it was also a chance for people to get out and do something midweek.
"It's a midweek event so everyone that can't come out on weekends can come on a weeknight, but also just to have this calibre of artists coming to town is really exciting," he said.
Who are the acts?
This Way North
Performing in the Powerhouse, Leisha Jungalwalla and Cat Leahy from This Way North will create explosive energy and expansive sound.
The duo are no strangers to the road and said they were thrilled to be heading to Portland.
"We are beyond excited, touring regionally is one of our favourite things to do, the places, the people, playing shows, the road, it's our happy place," Leisha said.
Taking out Best Outer Suburban Act 2018 at The Age Music Victoria Awards, This Way North are on a steady incline.
Bobby Alu is a ukulele strummer and drummer. His rhythms are inspired by a strong family lineage of Polynesian performance.
Tthere's also a robust energy in Alu's mastery of traditional Samoan log drums, and a vitality to his song writing that nods to world, roots and pop intelligence.
Bobby said touring regional NSW was like going home.
"I couldn't think of a more perfect way to get back to touring after the longest break I've had since hitting the road over a decade ago. I'm really excited to visit, explore and perform in these regional towns," he said.
Ron van der Zwaag
Ron will be performing as a local support act on the evening. He is a Bathurst local but was previously involved with the Portland community for a number of years when he taught music at a local school.
His songs are a mix of folk/pop and country/pop tunes featuring lyrics that are often frivolous, but always grownup.
The Festival of Small Halls will be a COVID-safe event and patrons are encouraged to purchase tickets online.
"We're trying to remain COVID-safe, so if people can get their tickets prior to the event it will help us to know how many people are coming and stuff like that," Mr Evans said.
Mr Evans said Portland Tidy Towns will host a barbecue on the evening and there will be other snacks and drinks available.
"We really want to focus on keeping this community based and it will be an alcohol free event," he said.
The Festival of Small Halls kicked off on Wednesday, April 7 at Yetman Memorial Hall and concludes at the Coramba Community Hall on, May 2.
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