Moonrise Rock Festival – 21 February 2011

Moonrise Rock Festival 1994 – 2006

Mark Bin Bakar
Mark Bin Bakar

by Mark Bin Bakar

The Kimberley is well known for its huge number of musicians engaging in various styles of music, from Country, to Rock and Roll, Rock Reggae and so on.

Trying to keep a band together, working and becoming a tight unit is a challenge as there are limited venues. But some of the activities that created exposure and opportunity were the many different festivals.

One of those was the Moonrise Festival which had a huge influence on the many artists that performed there. The opportunity to perform at a large showcase with all the splendour of a concert – professional lighting, sound production, adrenalin etc was what created the excitement of the event.

Twelve Years ago in 1994, group of passionate people gathered at the Derby Turf Club for the first and only Derby Rock Festival.  Such was the success of this one-day event that it turned into the widely acclaimed Kimberley Moonrise Rock Festival. A diverse array of aural bliss, that only Derby can serve up, was on full display on the huge Moonrise Stage.

It has been more than over a decade since Moonrise first appeared on the entertainment calender and we have been richer for it. The event was recognised as a phenomenal winner. Then the recordings of the event started and this captured an era that featured so many of the prominent and not so prominent artists forever.

One of the most memorable times was to see, hear and experience the late Kenny Perouse with his songs and band Lang Crossing. His song My Place described his life, his place, and our collective passion for our Kimberley region.

Alphonse 'Kat' Buck
Alphonse ‘Kat’ Buck

Gulingi Nunga, made up of the Oobagooma Brothers and Alphonse Buck, was a star act every year until we sadly lost two brothers Charles (lead guitar) and Derek from the band. They were a huge crowd pleasers, too many more to mention.

The event lives on in memory, the many photographs and the 11 recordings of various artists is a gift in history of a great community event that contributed to so much social and emotional wellbeing, creating confidence, self esteem and belief in one’s self through the vision of the many people who made it happen.

The Kimberley Moonrise rock was our “Woodstock” and was the brainchild of school teachers Mark Norval and Denis Jokovich. Over a decade has come and gone and hundreds of helpers, volunteers, supporters, artists, funding bodies and sponsors remain to tell the story of the “Woodstock of the Kimberley – Moonrise Rock”. Hopefully one day it will return to a page on the Kimberley Calender.

Moonrise festival’s website can still be seen if you click here.

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