Creating Canberra’s field of dreams

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“If you build it, they will come.”

The sweet, seven-word affirmation that led Kevin Costner to build his glorious baseball pitch in the 1989 fantasy-sports classic Field of Dreams has been echoed by local lads Rohan Thomas and Marty Khoundavong, who have founded Canberra’s newest music festival.

A truly local experience in every sense, Sweet Dreams is a showcase of what Canberra’s producing in respect not only to music, but also food, beverages and visual art.

“We’ve got a lot of musical talent here in Canberra that don’t get the platform they need and tend to move away for more opportunity,” Thomas tells Canberra Weekly. “We wanted to give all these people a platform to showcase their talent, and to get a crowd in we’ve got a few names in to headline the event,” he says.

“We’ve been around a few music festival events over the years, I’m a project manager by trade, but between us we’ve got a lot of connections with music events and the music industry,” Khoundavong adds.

To be held at the Majura Truffle Farm on Saturday 21 September, Sweet Dreams features an all-star local lineup that includes Citizen Kay, Kirrah Amosa, and Kirklandd, alongside out-of-towners like Hi-Life and Luke Million.

Thomas says they’ve also enlisted the help of a number of local artists and designers to help cultivate the dreamland feel of the festival that they hope will stimulate all the senses.

“People will walk through a tunnel that opens up to the event, and we want to create the feeling that they’ve stepped into a different world.

“We’ll have things hanging down from suspended wires, an oversized mushroom garden and a giant ball pit; it’ll be visually stimulating.”

They want people to come along early, and hope to achieve this by allowing patrons to enjoy the night and day in different ways.

“We’re trying to move away from the normal experience where people show up in the afternoon/evening by creating two distinct experiences between daytime and night,” Thomas says.

“Throughout the day it will be more of the R&B and hip-hop vibe, as you get toward the darker stages of the day the lights will really start to pop and then go with the genre of music as well as we start to hear more EDM,” Khoundavong adds.

Visit sweetdreamsfestival.com.au for more information.

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Ian Cubitts
Ian Cubitts