16 February 2024

New and returning acts heading to South Coast venue across year-long program

| Claire Sams
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People in the crowd at a music festival

Executive director Leigh Small said the venue was planning for a big year – with some twists to their normal programming. Photo: Ben Marden Photography.

A South Coast music venue has unveiled its 2024 program as it prepares to lift the curtain on its first show of the year.

Executive director Leigh Small said that rather than mount its traditional Easter program, Four Winds would turn to a year-long program.

“What we’re doing is spreading out the sorts of performances that you would have seen at Four Winds – plus new genres of music – over a year,” she said.

“It’s almost like market research in real time to find out how we can connect with this local audience.”

Events will start on 9 March with Caravana Sun, and run until November.

The inaugural Barragga Yangga (Many Songs) festival will showcase First Nations storytelling and song in October, followed by the two-day Spring Youth Music Festival in November.

A range of artists will also head to the venue in Barragga Bay for residencies throughout the year, and the venue will also have partnerships with Headland Writers Festival, the Yuin Folk Club, South East Centre for Contemporary Art, Musica Viva, Music in the Regions, and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

However, unlike previous years, Four Winds will not host its annual Easter festival in 2024 and will instead organise smaller events.

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Easter Friday will see Butchulla songman Fred Leone and Samuel Pankhurst’s collaboration Yirinda take to the Windsong Pavilion, while the Goldner String Quartet will perform on Easter Saturday and Sunday (30 and 31 March).

“Easter is a densely packed time for most people down here,” Ms Small said.

“This way, they can choose to come to one concert or three concerts, featuring world-class musicians and performance.”

The new program follows a review by the team behind Four Winds of their events program, including the annual Easter festival.

“Four Winds has been going for 30 years, and the Pavilion and the Sound Shell are almost 10 years old,” Ms Small said.

“There’s always an evolution in cultural organisations, and we feel it’s the right time to review and build a vision for the future,” she said.

“We need to do the data research and the market research to build a sustainable business plan.”

Ms Small said 2024 would also be the basis of further discussion on what the site’s future will look like.

“A review is very structured with a lot of data-driven information and we’re still in that process as we prepare for the future of Four Winds in 2025,” she said.

“It will eventuate in the appointment of a new artistic director and we will launch a new program under their guidance and with them for next year.”

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Ms Small said the coming year was sure to have something for music fans of all stripes.

“I’m excited across the board, for the program of residencies, writers and everyone that is coming to Four Winds,” she said.

“My specific enjoyment is in the idea that people can come over a whole year – and come often – to find something that interests them or something that they discovered here.”

Four Winds is at 17 Four Winds Road in Barragga Bay, near Bermagui.

Information on specific events and tickets can be found on Four Winds’ website.

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