Deep South

Deep South SA Roots & Blues Festival is just around the corner. Growing out of a need to celebrate the local roots talent and culture, the festival is celebrating its second birthday from Saturday, November 30 to Sunday, december 1.

Deep South SA Roots & Blues Festival is just around the corner. Growing out of a need to celebrate the local roots talent and culture, the festival is celebrating its second birthday from Saturday, November 30 to Sunday, December 1.

Last year, the festival was a one-day event—this year, 27 acts, three stages, and two very different programs over the weekend mark the exciting expansion of Deep South to a two-day spectacular. A mix of new talent (Zkye, Doctor DeSoto) and better known (Marmalade Circus, Max Savage & The False Idols) is the drawcard for the festival. With hopes to stretch the festivities to three days in 2014, Festival Organiser Dennis Kipridis reminisces on where it all began. “It started last year—we were doing little mini-events called Roots Nights at the Gov. They featured three original, recording rootsy style bands—soul, country, blues; everything that the roots umbrella encapsulates these days. We did five shows last year, and what was going to happen at the end of the year was to grab all those artists and make a feature event, but as the year was going on, there were so many artists who had been involved, so we just took the next step of creating a bigger event in itself. Preparation for this year’s event began back in February, Kipridis says, explaining that the line-up relies on finding new artists as well as great-quality established acts. Bands must also be active: performing and recording throughout the year. The ‘strict’ criteria are necessary to make the weekend as fabulous as possible. Knowing that every band has been selected on merit also helps assuage fears and hurt feelings when bands are told they are playing on a smaller stage. The boutique nature of the festival comes into play here: the size of the stage doesn’t determine its popularity; each area has its own special identity. Deep South is the only event to take over The Governor Hindmarsh, complete with refurnishing and set design across the whole venue. Luckily, the Gov has been extremely supportive of Kipridis’ work, perhaps trusting his judgement due to his background in theatre design and architecture. Three stages pop up: the Starry Night Stage in the main performance area, dedicated to the bands with the most members as they need the extra space; the Purple Pit, an intimate nightclub area set in the sunken lounge and designed for the artistic and experimental acts; and the Barn House, the rowdy rockabilly and blues stage set up in the front bar. Part of Deep South’s broader vision is to engage local youth in the roots scene. This grand idea is the basis for the family-friendly status of the event and the 30-40 per cent quota for new bands. “The whole idea is to increase the awareness of the excellent talent we’ve got here in Adelaide, and to do that, looking at the longevity of it all, [we have to look] at how to get the youth involved. The family-friendly thing opens the door for kids to be exposed to good music and that’s important to us; that’s what we’re trying to encourage. Something like this hadn’t been attempted before.” Deep South Roots, blues & Folk Festival The Governor Hindmarsh
 Saturday, November 30 (2.30pm–late) 
and Sunday, December 1 (12pm–5.30pm) facebook.com/deepsouthfest

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