Who would have thought a regional town, famous for pumpkins and Les Darcy would establish itself as a live music destination for locals and visitors to the city? From music festivals to local weekly haunts, Maitland is fast making its mark on the music scene, and as you’ll see, it’s hard to keep up.
They start them young here, and with a visit to The Levee you’ll often see buskers and young musicians trying their luck to win you over with their talent, hoping you’ll throw a couple of dollars in their hat to help them on their journey to reach their dream. These young budding stars are often nurtured at The Music Academy, where inspiration and knowledge are a plenty to help mould the talent that may one day pop up on your radio.
Groovin the Moo music festival has been a Maitland regular for the past 12 years, bringing national and international music headliners to the city. Each year, more than 20,000 people make their way to the Maitland Showground for the annual event that has engraved itself on the touring calendar as one not to be missed. Think Art vs Science, The Darkness, The Wombats, Hilltop Hoods and Wolfmother have headlined the festival over the years. Sounds awesome, hey?
Located over the New England Highway from the Showground, just opposite to the Maitland Train Station, you’ll find The Grand Junction Hotel, or to the locals, The Junkyard. But don’t let the name scare you, but be warned, head here on a weekend and you’ll get your ears blown off with an amazing amount of talent belting it out on the stage. Settle in with a highly satisfying pub meal, a schooie from the bar and sit back to be schooled on Maitland music.
Speaking of music and beer, held within the huge sandstone walls of Maitland Gaol, Bitter and Twisted Boutique Beer Festival is held each November. The festival brings together a big line up of boutique beer, internationally recognised music, food from across the globe, home brew master classes and a few twisted surprises.
If music festivals and raging live music isn’t quite your cup of tea, not to worry. There’s something for every music lover at Maitland. Chapel Jazz at Morpeth brings lovers of Jazz music together in one of the most picturesque and oldest river towns in NSW, with their annual event held every May.
Whether it’s to get your feet tapping, head banding or a good excuse to dust off your dancing shoes, there are plenty of places to find great local music. At first, it might not be obvious, but look a little harder and there’s something to the tune of everyone’s beat.