Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Fringe in the Forest

The Mid North will get a taste of the Adelaide Fringe Festival in its own backyard when it hits Bundaleer’s Maple and Pine for two nights on Friday March 3 and Saturday March 4.

The spectacle features a dynamic cast of musical talents, headlined by MJ & The Progression on Friday and Along Comes Mary on Saturday.

Supporting the headliners is Burra’s country sensation Caitlin Drew, red-hot indie artist Tilly Tjala Thomas, and the well-established folk-rock band, The Beaucat Sessions.

Fronting both ensembles, Mary-Jane Hendry has performed in numerous events at Adelaide Fringe, Bundaleer Festivals which were held in the forest from 1999 to 2013, and last year’s Adelaide Fringe Bundaleer debut.

“There was a lot of doubt and unknown, it was almost an experiment. But it was really well received and this year we’ve made big improvements, refining and expanding the show,” Hendry says.

One of the newcomers for 2023 Fringe is Nukunu woman, Tilly Tjala Thomas, who will perform at the Friday event.

Young yet very-well accomplished, she was awarded the Best Regional Artist at the South Australian Music Awards in November 2022.

Her electronic indie-pop blend will enchant audiences whilst her lyrics educate and inspire.

Fellow supporting artist Caitlin Drew will perform both nights of the Fringe in the Forest.

Drew hails from Burra but is well travelled, performing interstate and touring the United States with Tony Blackhouse’s Gospel Choir. Her talents have most recently taken her to Tamworth’s Golden Guitar to perform at the Country Music Festival.

The opportunity is a self-described career highlight and demonstrates Drew’s impressive rise to prominence on the country scene.

Drew admits she has played some incredible venues across Australia and the United States but says, “Bundaleer is unlike any other.”

“The Forest has surprisingly phenomenal acoustics and is picturesque and beautiful.”

She says the setting perfectly pairs her set. She says, “I’ll bring some chilled-out country tunes and hopefully a couple of laughs.”

Drew says she’s excited to bring the festival atmosphere to Bundaleer and highlighted the importance of such events for the community.

 “It’s really important for small towns to bring new people into the area. The tourism generated is helpful for local business and the new experiences are helpful for the local community,” she says.

“In the country it’s important the locals support these events and get involved. If you’re thinking of coming, just buy a ticket now; don’t be complacent. It supports the industry and the local community. What’s the worst that could happen?” she says.

Also taking the stage on Saturday will be Beaucat Session, a stripped back acoustic folk rock band comprising Cathy Olsen, Beau Lloyd and Phil Dickens.

The two-night event has been described by all acts as a golden opportunity for a night of laid-back fun in a world class, open-air venue.

Friday’s festivities kick off at 6pm, whilst gates open at 4pm on Saturday with licensed bar and food available both nights. A Fringe in the Forest Bus will be in service Jamestown-Bundaleer return for both events.

For event tickets, bus tickets and more information, visit

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