Darby Street Live micro music festival set to liven up hospitality and retail strip on Saturday, March 24

CHANGE OF SCENE: Newcastle artist Paris Grace performs at the Darby Street Live festival launch on Tuesday. Picture: Simone De Peak.
CHANGE OF SCENE: Newcastle artist Paris Grace performs at the Darby Street Live festival launch on Tuesday. Picture: Simone De Peak.

Newcastle’s live music scene is set for a shake up at the end of the month with the debut of the Darby Street Live micro music festival.

Launched on Tuesday at Darby Street fashion and music store Abicus by Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes, the festival aims to showcase some of the Hunter’s best musical talents in cafes, shops and restaurants where they may not usually perform. 

The hospitality and retail strip is set to come alive on Saturday, March 24 when local artists play in businesses along the street from 2pm until 8pm. 

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“The whole idea is to take music, the diversity of music and a whole range of different styles of music, and put them in places you wouldn’t normally see,” festival organiser Steven Pickett said.

“With Darby Street having the reputation as that cultural hub where there’s so much great art, fashion and music, it was a natural fit.

“In some of the venues here we’ve got lane ways, alcoves and shop fronts, as well as a couple of licensed premises you’d normally find live music in.” 

Mr Pickett said the event has been made possible through a NSW Government Live Music Office grant and funding from Newcastle City Council. 

“Music’s the soul of Newcastle and we need to nurture it,” he said. “We’re presenting music in a way that’s not been done before.”

Singer Paris Grace, who won the Newcastle Tip Jar music competition in 2017, played at Tuesday’s launch and says she can’t wait to perform among the 25 other already confirmed artists. 

“I’m very excited, I just love performing,” she said. 

“I think it will really attract people because there’s a lot of new artists and different styles of music.”