In November 2013 members of the newly established ABOTMA met in Harrietville for the first time, meeting for our AGM. I was elected President for ABOTMA in 2014 and I gladly accepted the role to head the body of bluegrass and old time music people in both Australia & New Zealand.
Our major task since establishment was to build and present a new music event in Harrietville in 2013. The first inaugural MountainGrass was viewed to be a success both financially and among the local community. High levels of enthusiasm and support came from musicians returning to this part of the country to celebrate Mountain style music in Australia.
The original steering committee (led by Will Manovel) completed the outstanding task in minimal planning time which ensured the success of such an event. Their extreme effort left a solid platform in order for the forthcoming committee to build upon, welcoming feedback from members, performers and local businesses.
As we get closer to our 2nd annual MountainGrass festival I would like to remind all members that we invite any input, assistance and encouragement. We plan to present a bigger and better event this year with the introduction of a 500 plus capacity marquee and professional sound & stage setup to present our main feature concerts. We’re flying out a 4-piece band, Special Consensus from the United States to headline the festival joined by twenty other fantastic acts from across Australia, NZ and the US. Once again we will continue to use venues across the town of Harrietville on the program.
We continue to be transparent in our operations and planning, offering all our committee meeting minutes on the ABOTMA website, we also offer all the financials of last year’s event for members to view.
We’ve been lucky enough to start with money in the bank and a full 12 month preparation in 2014 but as we plan to grow our expenses have increased and our chance of start-up grants available is minimal. To ensure the success and growth for MountainGrass and ABOTMA I ask that each and every one of you tell everybody about our event, share our news, follow our social media, pre-order your tickets and help promote us as best you can.
I’ve been heavily involved in bluegrass music as performer locally and internationally for almost 20 years and I’m absolutely thrilled with the current growth in Australia, seeing new festivals and bands emerging across the country. I look forward to serving as president for ABOTMA and getting involved in future tasks of setting up a national touring circuit, partnering with other events and educating other and this music nation-wide.
ABOTMA Inc. presenting MountainGrass 2014