From the President 2014

Dear Friends,Lachlan Davidson

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.

Kind Regards
Lachlan Davidson
ABOTMA Inc. presenting MountainGrass 2014

From the President – Nov 2013

WillDear Harrietville businesses, sponsors, and friends,

I recently asked the Secretary of ABOTMA Inc (Greg McGrath) to send an email to all our members regarding elections to be held on Saturday afternoon at our Annual General Meeting at the MountainGrass Festival.

If you haven’t already received it, this email is attached below. If you open the attachment, it is a Flyer outlining the positions open for election.

One of those positions is as ‘Alpine Community Liaison Officer.

Could I ask all of you to give genuine consideration to nominating a reliable and respected member of your community for this position in 2014.

The ability to keep open our lines of communication with you, and to have your views and input represented on the Festival Committee once a month, is critical to continuing to grow this Festival together, in a way that benefits the local community, and meets all our expectations.

At this stage, with the help of your promised in-kind donations (yet to be requested), it looks like we might break even and make it through this year. If we do better than this, it will be a very promising start for future years.

A small amount of public grant funds will be paid by RDV next year, (so we don’t have to start from nothing again), on the basis of what we deliver this year.

I also just want to thank all of you for your generosity responding to my calls for local sponsorship at the beginning of the year.

We have been prudent financial managers, carefully saving funds, and will be in a position to present a reasonable financial picture at the AGM, and a finalised set of books after the Festival at year-end, which will be available to everyone on the ABOTMA website.

This transparency should assist in Festival planning, fund-raising, ticket sales, and confidence in the future of MountainGrass as a sustainable commercial event.

It will be a busy weekend, but if your nominee is able to attend the AGM, and volunteer to be your representative on the Festival Committee, then next year should run even better.

Thank you again for your trust, commitment, and active networking/marketing/lobbying and local promotion this past year.

Kind regards,

Will Manovel
MountainGrass 2013

Dear Secretary,

Please forward this email to all ABOTMA members, and indeed to everyone who forms part of the bluegrass and old-time music community in Australasia:

Dear Friends,

In May 2013, ABOTMA Inc. was formed to provide cohesion, financial support, and future planning to the bluegrass and old-time music community in the Australasian region, including New Zealand.

Part of ABOTMA’s role was to establish a new national music festival, and thereby continue an annual celebration of mountain music that has occurred in Harrietville for over 20 years. This new festival has been named MountainGrass.

A founding interim steering committee has worked very hard this year to establish the legal, administrative, and operational infrastructure for this festival to continue indefinitely, in a way that anyone can run it, contribute, volunteer, perform, and be welcomed to participate in perpetuating this music.

The outcome of this work is represented in 2 websites:

and by this year’s inaugural MountainGrass 2013 music festival.

You can find out all about the history, philosophy, and foreseeable future of ABOTMA and MountainGrass on these websites, which contain all our meeting minutes, financial planning strategies, public grants, sponsorship funds raised, and ticket sales information.

The purpose of this email, is (having seen what can be achieved in 6 months with good will and many hands on deck), to encourage you to nominate yourself or a friend to take an active role in ABOTMA or the MountainGrass festival committee, next year 2014. You can do this, by attending our Annual General Meeting at the festival on 23 November 2013, and nominating or volunteering for a role. ALL POSITIONS WILL BE VACATED AND ELIGIBLE FOR ELECTION.

Please do not hesitate to speak with one of the current interim steering committee members, if you feel you can contribute to what has been established.

The attached Flyer provides details of all positions open for election and the venue for the AGM.

In particular, the roles of President and Treasurer will require your leadership and integrity, and you can look forward to forming some close friendships with other committee members.

Thank you for considering this email, and for your contribution to bluegrass and old-time music.


Will Manovel
Interim Steering Committee
MountainGrass 2013


Australasian Bluegrass and Old Time Music Association formally invites members to the Annual General Meeting of the Association to be held on Saturday 23rd November 2013 from 4.20pm to 5.30pm at Feathertop Resort, Harrietville, Victoria.