Sol and Sara from Byron Bay with their Squeking Tribe market stall at the Manifest festival held at Gordon Country over the weekend.
Sol and Sara from Byron Bay with their Squeking Tribe market stall at the Manifest festival held at Gordon Country over the weekend. Deanna Millard

Peace Manifests in country

THE peace and tranquillity at Gordon Country in Goomburra was infused with a vibrant energy as hundreds gathered at the camping spot for the Manifest Music Festival over the weekend.

Attracting people of all ages, and walks of life from all over the country, the festival offered a culturally rich environment where everyone came together to "celebrate humanity" and feel free to express themselves.

Co-organiser of the event Renan Inal said himself, and two friends Andrew Teh and Ben Ahern established the festival five years ago because they wanted to provide an atmosphere where people could relax, unwind and enjoy themselves.

"The festival is not just about music, it's about presenting art in all its forms," he said. "We want to put smiles on people's faces while providing a culturally enriching experience."

A massive team of 350 including musicians, artists, market holders, food vendors, lighting and technical support, medics, security and many more were involved in making the festival a success.

Spiral Lamborgini and Jayanga Dasanayaka in front of the Teepee Lounge at Manifest.
Spiral Lamborgini and Jayanga Dasanayaka in front of the Teepee Lounge at Manifest.

Five days prior to the event were spent in setting up the structures for the three-day festival.

Festival goers had more than enough to keep them busy with a multitude of market stalls to browse, themed camp sites to chill out, performers at every turn, workshops to participate in, healing spaces and a variety of music to enjoy at the three different stages.

Mr Inal said they had tried to cater for all tastes with hip hop, dub (reggae), soul, jazz, folk and funk bands performing, along with popular DJs.

"We were lucky to have some big names like The Daily Meds, Hugo & Treats and Mista Savana perform at the festival," he said.

"We also feel very privileged to hold the festival in such beautiful surroundings and thank Sue Gordon, the owner of Gordon Country for sharing her piece of paradise with us. Sue loves people, and the people we attract are supportive of the land and bringing growth to the region."

Security guards and medics were pleased to report that no major incidents had occurred during the weekend and it was "one of the most peaceful" festivals they had attended.

McWoot, Willigans McChin and Danielle Hobart enjoy Manifest.
McWoot, Willigans McChin and Danielle Hobart enjoy Manifest.

Medic Brendan Elliott said he had been to other festivals and had to deal with some wild characters but this had been an enjoyable experience.

"Everyone was so mellowed and relaxed and apart from a few minor incidents which only resulted from people mucking around, everything ran smoothly," he said.

Mr Inal said he hoped that illustrated to the Southern Downs Regional Council and Goomburra residents that music festivals, when run professionally, did not cause any trouble which was what was anticipated.

"We dealt with a lot of adversity from the (council) in holding Manifest here," he said. "I hope we have proved this event is worthy of the community and they appreciate us bringing domestic tourism to the region.

"As many music festivals have a stigma attached to them and we are scrutinised because of that, we hope we have proved that this festival has been run at a much higher standard than others."



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