Sunbury's 50-Year Festival Reunion Brings Nostalgia with a Modern Twist

Published March 7, 2024

A breath of the past is coming alive as the much-anticipated Sunbury Pop Festival revival is on the horizon, celebrating its 50th anniversary. Next month, expect to experience the essence of the original festivals that took place in the 1970s just outside Melbourne, albeit this time, likely with less impromptu skinny-dipping in Jacksons Creek.

Legendary Acts to Reunite

The event, labeled Sunbury '24, is set to feature iconic performers from the festival's heyday, weaving together the rich tapestry of Australia's music history. Among them is Ross Wilson, the famed 76-year-old former frontman of Daddy Cool, ready to take the stage once again, reflecting on his vitality and the milestones reached since the event's inception.

Daddy Cool and other acts faced challenges back in 1975, including a confrontational demand by Deep Purple for upfront payment that ultimately led to financial troubles and the end of what had been dubbed Australia's Woodstock.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

The original Sunbury Pop Festivals were a pivotal platform for upcoming stars in the Australian music scene, such as Skyhooks and Renee Geyer, as well as international names like Queen, who despite rumors, Ross Wilson insists were not booed off stage. The historical gathering transformed a farm paddock into a cultural phenomenon that paved the way for future music events.

Reliving the Glory Days

Set for April 13, the scene is ready to come alive again, with Sunbury hosting classic Australian bands from the 70s like Spectrum, Chain, and Madder Lake. Significantly, the event remains accessible with tickets priced at a modest $30 for adults, in the spirit of keeping the festival experience inclusive, just as it was five decades ago.

The Hume City Council has stepped in to support the tribute to this musical legacy, with Mayor Kurt Naim expressing enthusiasm for the festival's return and anticipation for the mix of generations it will attract. The 4000 tickets on offer were snapped up in record time, indicating the enduring appeal of the festival.

Music veteran Richard Clapton vividly remembers his apprehensions as a performer back then and expresses a desire for younger crowds to embrace this chapter of their musical heritage at the reunion.

nostalgia, festival, music