By Kelly Butterworth
Sunshine Coast youth rallied together on recently at Raw Sounds, a music festival celebrating local talent aged 12-25.
The festival kicked off at 6pm with Mankunion, a duo of very talented boys who got the crowd dancing and singing along with their covers of popular songs.
Two stages were in play throughout the night along with an inflatable obstacle course, market stalls, an arts-and-craft workshop and gallery of local art.
Project Officer Jade Frieser, 23, said the festival was created to fill a gap in the Sunshine Coast’s entertainment for young people.
“There wasn’t a music festival for young people on the coast and really, they’re the ones who want it most,” she said.
“The festival started in 2010 and it runs in National Youth Week (April 5-14) which is just great, the whole concept is great, it’s giving young people an opportunity to show off their talent.”
National Youth Week aims to involve young people in their community all across Australia, and Raw Sounds was an event that did just that, charging only a $10 cover fee.
“We gave away 160 tickets to various groups around the coast to get people involved and then we pre-sold around 50 and heaps more have been sold at the door, it’s amazing,” Ms Frieser said.
Local talent Ayla Scanlon was the only female solo act and effectively blew away the crowd with her performances of original songs including Porcelain Doll and Holiday.
Ayla, 17, grew up on the coast and still lives in Cooroy while studying music at the Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE. She said the festival is a great way to get people involved in local music.
“I love performing and I love meeting other local performers, I spent a few months in Sydney last year working on my music and now I’m getting ready to release my EP,” she said.
“I didn’t perform at Raw Sounds last year so I was really excited to get the chance to this year, it’s amazing here, the atmosphere is awesome and it’s a really good night.”
Ms Frieser said getting the word out about the festival was difficult and with limited funds they relied heavily on social networking.
“It’s quite fortunate that our target audience was teenagers because they’re on social networking sites a lot, we also performed a ‘Harlem Shake’ to promote the event and a lot of Facebook posts,” she said.
Two local girls enjoying the music were Olivia Ridges and Mix Radda, both 16, who agreed the night turned out great.
“It’s loud, it’s good music and it’s a good social night for us to catch up with friends somewhere different,” Mia said.
“We came because a friend told us about it and we’re really glad we did, it’s really cool down here and the music is great,” Olivia said.
While both girls said they were enjoying the music, seeing their friends and eating the food, they both had the same response when asked about the best part of the festival.
“There’s a lot of cute boys which is great!” Mia said.
The event also drew the attention of Councillor Greg Rogerson, who said the event was a great opportunity for Sunshine Coast youth.
“Anything for the youth on the coast is a good thing, there’s so much talent around and it’s great to see it showcased all together at events like this,” he said.