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HomeLifestyleEvents and ExhibitionsNorthern Beaches Music Festival returns to Narrabeen on 5-6 November

Northern Beaches Music Festival returns to Narrabeen on 5-6 November

The Northern Beaches Music Festival returns to Narrabeen over the weekend of 5 – 6 November, bringing a dynamic and diverse range of musical talent, circus performers, multicultural food vendors and a marketplace with clothing and craft stalls.

The jamboree is spread over four main arenas and a busking stage against the backdrop of Narrabeen Lagoon.

The weekend’s entertainment is described on Northern Beaches Council’s website as “50 live music acts on five stages over two days lakeside at Narrabeen, The Tramshed and Berry Reserve…

“Fabulous, multi-genre world music on four ticketed stages and one free stage (free to the general public), set amidst our festival village of world food and merchandise stalls.”

The retro-eclectic Trippy Hippy Band. Photo: supplied

Manly Observer caught up with Executive Producer Paul Robertson to learn about this community carnival.

Firstly, how long has it been running?

“Since 2011. I came up with the concept and put it to four music groups on the Northern Beaches, The Shack, Humph HallThe Fig and Fairlight Folk and we found we all had similar ideas in mind.

“We like presenting performing arts and encouraging musicians, especially from the Northern Beaches and young up-and-coming artists. We also like to involve our community and reach out to multicultural groups, the Indigenous, disabled people and schools…”

Now in its ninth year (the Covid pandemic forced cancellations), the festival caters to a wide variety of tastes – in both music and cuisine.

Australiana punk-fok at its finest, The Bottlers close the festival on Sunday evening. Photo: supplied

So, who’s playing?

“We have a great, diverse line-up,” Paul enthuses. “From Afro Moses’ African rhythms, to Psycho Zydeco – they just make you want to dance!

“Then there’s Daddy Longlegs and the Swamp Donkeys, who are hard-driving and toe-tapping; Firrin, a Celtic whirlwind of music; plus the fabulous Luke Escombe from the Northern Beaches; and Willing Ponies, a bluegrass band.

“Then we have Jaga Band, a Ukrainian band that dress in traditional costume and play a sort of gypsy music; The Bottlers who are a nine-piece punk-folk band; and the Trippy Hippy Band whom you could describe as a 1970s retro cabaret act. The list goes on!

“Fifty acts on five stages. Four stages are ticketed and they’re within the Tramshed Community Arts Centre, and then out in Berry Reserve we have a free stage for the general public, which is set amongst our festival village of world food and merchandise stalls, and that starts at 9am and goes to 7pm. But the ticketed venues go from 11am to 11 pm.”

Afro Moses from Ghana,West Africa, known as the ‘African James Brown’ for his dynamic stage shows. Photo: supplied

What if it’s a rain-drenched weekend?

“We’ve tried to make ourselves weatherproof, with the stage outdoors covered by a marquee – although the ticketed stages are all indoors… Hopefully, we’re going to do well!”

Anything to add?

“Everyone should come! This is an open festival for the complete Northern Beaches community and everyone should enjoy it.”

Northern Beaches Music Festival is an annual not-for-profit community-based event supported by Northern Beaches Council, assorted sponsors and seven regional music clubs: Acoustic Picnic, Fairlight Folk, Humph Hall, Manly Fig, Music Lounge, The Shack and Songs on Stage.

In the next few days, Manly Observer will feature an interview with Sunday night festival closers, The Bottlers, a rowdy punk-folk Australiana act guaranteed to get people pogoing and partying.

Location: Berry Reserve, 1395 Pittwater Rd, Narrabeen

Cost: $100 for whole weekend, $70 per day Saturday and Sunday.


Free Stage Lakeside + World Food & Market Stalls 9am – 7pm (Sat and Sun).

Music indoors Sat 5 Nov 11am – 11pm

Music indoors Sun 6 Nov 11am – 9pm

Northern Beaches Music Festival website


Weekend program of music



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Manly Observer is an experiment in providing non-sensationalist hyperlocal news on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We cover the big news across the LGA, but with a hyper focus on the Manly electorate encompassing Balgowlah, Seaforth, Freshwater, Brookvale and Curl Curl up to Dee Why. It is run by those living in the community for the benefit of an informed community. We care about an informed and connected community. That’s it. Simple. Thank you for your support in keeping quality local news alive!

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