Homeless Day kicks off on NSW’s far south coast to boost economy and jobs

A unique festival experience has been launched on the NSW Far South Coast, aiming to unite music and art lovers from a wide range of people.

Wanderer Festival founder Simon Daly describes it as Queensland’s popular Woodford Festival and Waterfall Festivalwhich happens in many states.

The three-day event will take place in Bournda and Has a huge music lineupincluding acts such as Ziggy Alberts, Teskey Brothers and Sarah Blasko.

Mr Daley said his goal was to attract a diverse crowd to the festival.

“It’s for those who enjoy attending festivals and youth events across the country,” he said.

“[Or] people who like woodford or walmad [festival].

A man in a blue jacket smiles at the camera
Simon Daly wanted to attract different people to the festival.(ABC Southeast: Kayla Proust)

The event will showcase three main stages of a series of performances including music, art, circus, workshop and comedy.

There will be one stage for young festival-goers, another for families, and both.

Activities of the founders of the Falls Festival

Mr. Daly has had a long career in the festival industry.

He founded the Falls Festival in 1994 and launched the Lost Lands Festival in Victoria years before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

He has run the Falls Festival for 20 years and says he hopes to provide Wanderer with a similar legacy.

He said he hopes the first one will attract 9,000 people before expanding to 14,000 for future events.

Festive aerial photography
Mr Daley also founded and held the Lost Lands Festival in Victoria.(Provided by: Ben Villa)

But hosting a festival of this scale is no easy task.

“There’s a reason things on this scale haven’t happened in the Southeast before,” he said.

“We’re definitely in the middle of nowhere, but in the middle of nowhere.”

The festival has received financial support from the NSW government, which will be funded through its state major events fund.

Two 20 year old blond girls smiling in the sun
Far South Coast residents Sinead McLaren and Lili Postance are keen on the new festival.(ABC Southeast: Kayla Proust)

Local young people are excited

For most young people living in big Australian cities, having access to live music can be a treat.

But South Coast residents Lili Postance, 22, and Sinead McLaren, 23, said it could be difficult to find.

“It’s always a little tricky,” Ms McLaren said.

Now, they’ll have a chance to see some big action in their own backyard.

“I’m honestly proud to have so many people in the area and showcasing our local talent,” Ms McLaren said.

“It looks promising and I think it will cater to many generations.”

Ms Postance said she hoped the festival would encourage more young people to stay in the area.

“So, it would be cool to have it in our backyard now.”

Paddock with trees in the background
The festival will take place on Bernda’s private property on the NSW far south coast.(Provided by: Simon Daly)

boost the local economy

The southern part of the NSW coastline was hit hard by the 2019-2020 bushfires and was also feeling the huge financial impact at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wanderer Festival operations manager Peta Lehoczky said she was one of many locals.

She said the festival was an important part of the region’s recovery.

“In the wake of the fires and the pandemic, it’s critical for our region to grow and to bring tourism back here,” she said.

“We want to be able to support local businesses and give everyone a chance.”

A smiling woman in an orange silk shirt
Peta Lehoczky got a job working on the Homeless Festival.(ABC Southeast: Kayla Proust)

Festival organizers also plan to run shuttle buses during the event to allow patrons to travel in and out of surrounding towns.

Ms Lehoczky said she hoped the event would help provide the necessary economic growth.

“If we boost tourism, then cafes will start to prosper again and we can find more people there,” she said.

“And the opportunity for the festival itself, which is fantastic.”

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