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Shoots n’ Roots: Recap of Bio·R’s first music festival!

Read about the incredible inaugural Shoots n' Roots event, from organiser Tristan Avella-O'Brien.

At Bio·R, we’re incredibly lucky to be able to run events where people come together in an atmosphere of celebration and hope, which is spurred by purposeful activity and being in the clean air of the great outdoors. A number of people remarked on this atmosphere after our larger planting events of 2018 and 2019 (less-so during the COVID-affected plantings of 2020), and we’ve been wondering how we can continue to foster these feelings of celebration and connection for our wonderful volunteer community. This strengthens our holistic approach to restoration that recognises the importance of people and community being in natural landscapes. 

On the final night (Sat 26th) of our Frahns Farm Planting Festival in 2021, Shoots n’ Roots became a magical celebratory evening. Around 100 people filtered in from the day’s planting or came from far away to huddle in pockets around a bonfire as local emerging and seasoned musicians performed.

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Starry night sky. Image: James Trezise.
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Around 100 people huddled around the bonfire. Image: James Trezise.

The sweet, airy tones of Adelaide’s own Katie Pomery transitioned us out of the day’s plantings. Both Katie and Naomi Keyte who followed, set the tone perfectly for a resplendent evening as the starry sky was progressively outshone by a moon in its glorious full-bloom. The audience joined Adelaide’s With One Voice choir and Naomi for her final two songs, together performing her much-loved Company and Old Pines, complete with hand-and-arm actions mimicking the tree shapes in the lines “Gum, sheoak, conifer, melaleuca…!

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Katie Pomery. Image: James Trezise.
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Naomi Keyte ft. With One Voice Adelaide choir. Image: James Trezise.

Once the audience were on their feet, it was easy for Bromham to keep everyone dancing throughout the entirety of their set and carry everyone through to wrap-up the celebratory evening. 

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Bromham. Image: James Trezise.
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Bromham. Image: James Trezise.

Shoots n’ Roots has been in the works for a few years, and there are many people to thank for getting us this far: Kylie Moritz for helping us navigate the crown approvals process; Janet Klein and Sarah Carlson for early advice and support; Brad Bianco, James Tresize and Myall Tarran for brainstorming a vision; Big Cactus Pty Ltd for their generous AV package (battery-powered on the back of a truck!); the musicians for their support in organisation and logistics; Ripple Effect and the Rural City of Murray Bridge for financial support through their grants; various volunteer helping hands on the day in setup and pack-down; and finally all those who attended and made the dream a reality. 

If you missed Shoots n’ Roots this year, don’t worry. The success of the festival means we’ll aim to bring you a more evolved festival in 2022!


Author: Tristan Avella-O’Brien

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