20 May 2022

Yass votes to give its young people a voice this election day

| Sally Hopman
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Yass youth leader and musician Max McGrath in action

Yass youth leader and musician Max McGrath is the brains behind the Alive in the Park festival in Yass. Photo: Charlotte McPherson.

If you’re young and love music, art, food, feeling good about yourself and free stuff, Riverbank Park in Yass is the place to be this Saturday (21 May).

From 11 am to late, the park will be the other place to go this election day.

The Alive in the Park festival is designed for young people from the regional area who often don’t have access to as much entertainment as city kids.

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Yass musician and local youth leader Max McGrath worked with YASSarts, Southern Tablelands Arts, Yass Valley Council and Headspace to bring the concept to life.

Held on Ngunnawal country, the event will give local young people the opportunity to enjoy all the trappings of a youth festival at no cost – and close to home.

“There are so many artistic kids and young adults that aren’t given the space or time to share their talents,” Max said.

“It isn’t particularly encouraged if your taste is a bit edgy or new school.

“Alive in the Park will be the first of many events that we plan to give people a stage, whether it’s for singing, dancing or art.

“Creativity brings so much life and culture to a place and I think kids around here really need that.”

The four members of Canberra indie-rock band Flowermarket in sunglasses sitting on chairs

Canberra indie-rock band Flowermarket has burst onto the local music scene and will perform at the free concert in Yass on Saturday. Photo: Supplied.

All young people are invited to the event, which will include live music, food trucks, markets, roaming performers, emergency services vehicle displays, Yass Headspace hangout tents, Rotary jumping castle, moonlight cinema and more.

One of the musical highlights will be the performance by emerging indie band The Sun Fishers, which successfully auditioned for the event last month. They will support leading Yass Valley region and Canberra bands, indie rock outfit Flowermarket, indie-pop powerhouse ARCHIE, Yass favourite Jack Phemister and singer-songwriter Lucy Sugarman.

There will also be behind-the-scenes support for young Yass folk with students from Yass High School helping out with the lighting and sound production and event management and photography.

Indie-pop band ARCHIE with a mirror ball

The four-piece indie-pop powerhouse ARCHIE is starting to make its mark on the Australian music scene. Photo: File.

Yass Valley Council director of corporate and community Lynette Safranek said it was important for young people in rural and regional areas to have access to the same experiences and opportunities as young people in metropolitan areas.

“Council is proud to use funding received from NSW Youth Week to support Alive in the Park, which targets people aged 12 to 26 in the Yass Valley,” she said.

“Our goal is to help grow Alive in the Park into an annual event that celebrates, supports and promotes our young people.

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“We will ensure the event is accessible and inclusive to everyone.”

Entry to the event will be free with no tickets required, but donations to Headspace will be welcome on the day.

For more information visit the Alive in the Park website.

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