Burrawang DnA Festival 2014

You guys! We did it! WE DID IT. We not only survived the festival but somehow along the way created this special event that did everything we hoped it would do…and a little more.

In January, a small group of us met for lunch on a hot summers Sunday afternoon to talk about the idea, the notion, of an event held in our small village that showcased the immense talent of artists, designers and artisans that all live in the Southern Highlands. While we have plenty of markets, and fairs and local art shows and trails, they only ever show a certain type of work – the kind you see everywhere at markets. We wanted something different. Something that showcased the works in a unique and special way. Something you might see in the big smoke.

Months later, hundreds of hours of work later – all volunteered I should add – we arrived at the long weekend with the School of Arts looking just as we hoped it would. Stylish. Simple. A blank canvas to showcase the talent we had on offer. Over the weekend we hosted a fundraiser with our patron of the festival John Olsen in attendance. We opened the doors over 2 days watching almost 3000 people come in. We sold the works of over 22 artists, we hosted a celebration event at the pub on Saturday night with live music, food stalls, a live painting that was raffled off, and we watched so many happy people, listened to their praise. WE DID IT.

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I am so incredibly proud of what we achieved in such a short amount of time. And on the budget we did. And with the very small group of us who all gave up their time to get it done. While these names won’t mean much to you guys – they mean a whole lot of me and I need to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.

To Rob, who DEAD SET, led this entire thing and worked his bloody arse off on it. He did ALL of the online stuff for this. The website, the print work, designed the posters, created the exhibitor profile videos, chaired committee meetings, sent the emails, did the PR and marketing, drove around with posters, answered the questions, put out the fires. And all for NOTHING. Because he wanted to. I cannot thank him enough. He made DnA happen – without him, it just wouldn’t have happened. I am so proud of his efforts. What a job!

Our committee: Patsy Peacock, Michael Lynch, Julijana Griffiths, Zvoni Hodak, Brooke Munro & Annie Jones. We spent every week around our dining table working our behinds off. The talents of this group were all used in a really great way and while we probably wanted to all kill each others at times….we didn’t! And we actually had fun along the way.

The fundraising committee: Jan Campbell & Elizabeth Crundall who used their connections and expertise to pull together the most amazing collection of people at the very generous residence of Skye & David Leckie. Without this, there may not ever have been another DnA festival and I can’t thank them enough for their hard work. Just because they could help, and because they wanted to. Thank you ladies x

Harrriet Goodall who designed the space and oversaw the creative vision of the festival. This is one clever lady. I still can’t believe that she agreed to help us out given her busy workload. Having someone of her calibre, and being the local girl she was, was a huge asset. Thanks to her and her husband Matt, and to Luci who helped style the event.

Then there is our School of Arts committee and others who helped out. Cath Ward, Margaret & Bob Spiers, Gail Dolphin, Trevor Donovan, Carolyn Donovan, Colin Munro, Penelope Kentish, Vicki Olsen, Phil Young….we could go on and on. Maugers Meats, the pub, The General Store who all worked their arses off over the weekend. Our little village was PUMPING I tell you. For small country towns like ours, this is a big deal. We reckon we bought in over $150,000 to our community over the weekend. Shit hey? Not bloody bad.

Also to my Mum & mother in law who came down and looked after the girls for us, did all our washing and generally kept things in order for us while we were missing from Friday morning until Monday afternoon. It’s easy to forget that on top of all this that we are still running a family, and our own businesses (Robs and mine) it’s been a hectic year to say the least!

So there we have it. Thanks to those of you that came along. Thanks for listening to my hassling and whinging, and begging over the past 9 months. I am so proud that we did this, of all that we achieved. Now if you will excuse me, I need to have a bit of a lie down.

You can have a read of Jool’s post on the festival here. She took lots of photos ย while my camera lens broke Friday morning ๐Ÿ™

Did you come along and have a look?
What did you think?


  1. Fiona Guglielmi says

    Sounds and looked fantastic… Another one next year?????

  2. Oh Beth and Rob, I’ve got goosebumps. What an amazing thing you have all done for your fabulous community. I knew it was going to be a huge success. You should be very proud. x

  3. Kate Fleming says

    Well done Beth, to you and your town, huge effort. Events are a bit like childbirth, there’s the months of anticipation, then the pain and exhaustion. A very short time later, the tiredness, crankiness and stress is a distant memory and you sit back and think “bloody hell, that was amazing, I really enjoyed it, let’s do it again!” and you plan the next one.

  4. what an amazing achievement! Well done and you should be super proud xx

  5. WELL-bloody DONE, fabulous people! Wish I could’ve been there!

  6. Looks amazing Beth! How lovely to have dreamed up & then realised & lived such a beautiful weekend:)

  7. Excellent job – it looks amazing. I can only imagine how tired you are. I just organised a local kinder market on the weekend and that was just one day – I’m stuffed and am nearly crying at everything today as I am so exhausted. You should all be immensely proud of your efforts, it is just fantastic xx

  8. The glass lights are perfect for what I need when I’m up to lights ( sometime next year). Can I have the details of the designer so I can contact them at the appropriate time.

  9. I have been silently watching this event unfold with excitement. As someone who grew up in the Southern Highlands I am super-duper proud Burrawang had a wonderful event showcasing so much talent. Great work indeed ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Phew! Well done to the bloomin’ lot of you!

  11. Lisa Mckenzie says

    You must be so very proud Beth ,it all looked amazing and so many talented people where you live,now you can have a rest Xx

  12. I bet you are both tired but also proud at how well it went. It takes special people to organise community events such as this for no financial gain.. some of those pieces are incredible!

  13. Well done to you and the other volunteers. What a great accomplishment – it looks like a terrific festival.

    BUT I have to say that creation made of the baby dolls is seriously creepy..

  14. Gibbergunyah says

    WHAT an achievement! Seeing dreams come to fruition is always wonderful, but somehow better when so much hard work has gone in

  15. Annie Maurer says

    It was an amazing event……so much talent! All very stylishly ( is that a word) presented. So glad we dropped in on our way through Burrawang…..I’ll have to save my pennies up for the next one so I can take a little piece of it home with me…might need to come in a car instead of the back of the Triunph. But the highlight for me was meeting you Beth…..more gorgeous in person than on the net! Well done all of you. X Annie M

  16. WOW! You did it – and you did it DAMN WELL!
    You and Rob are amazing to get all that done, whilst still working, raising girls and running businesses. What a team!
    C x

  17. Well done and congratulations! My parents live in Burradoo so whenever I’m home I always love to go to the pub and drive around Burrawang, such a great little village. Wish I had been there to see the festival, I can only imagine how amazing it was.


  1. […] you guys remember a few years ago we worked really hard on a local festival in our village The Burrawang DnA Festival? Well for anyone looking for something to do this weekend (locals and of course anyone up for a […]

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