Greg "Peelie" Peele had the idea and as it happened, Chris Nolan had the venue - his parents' farm outside Meredith, overlooking the Leigh River which has been in the family since the 1860s. Together with Marcus Downie, they were the founding members of the now hugely successful Meredith Music Festival.
|The valley of the Leigh River below the festival site|
By 1995 the event had grown large enough that for the first time, numbers had to be capped. They sold out two weeks before kick off and have continued to sell out since. Throughout the first 10 years of the festival's existence emerging bands such as Spiderbait, The Whitlams, Rebecca's Empire, Something For Kate, Jebediah, The Mavis's, Tex Perkins along with The Cruel Sea and many more besides appeared on the bill.
|Dramatic rock formation on the Leigh below the festival site|
But then in 1996, the festival was dealt an almost fatal blow when co-organiser Chris Nolan suffered a mystery illness resulting in multi-organ failure, permanent disability and the need for 24 hour care, however the festival survived and indeed thrived. Today it remains an independently funded, non-commercial concern, committed to maintaining its easy-going philosophy of BYO, musical variety and a strict "no dickheads" policy. The locals still provide much of the food and part of the proceeds from each event go towards Chris' on-going care and to support a number of Meredith community groups.
|The festival site November, 2013|
|The stage as seen from the back of the "Supernatural Amphitheatre"|
But through it all, the artists kept coming, those who returned time and again and a new generation including interstate acts, local acts who were forging a name and those who hoped to do so. Amongst the line up from 2000 onwards were: Regurgitator, John Butler Trio, Jet, Xavier Rudd, Wolfmother, TISM, The Presets, Gotye, Sarah Blasko, The Hoodoo Gurus, Rose Tattoo, Tame Impala, Paul Kelly, Neil Finn and a solo Kram from Spiderbait.
|This metal flamingo which lights up the night sky marks the|
entrance to the only licenced venue on the site - the Pink
Between them, the two events now bring folk from all over to listen to music in the country on a scale never imagined by the organisers in those early years.