There’s no denying The Drop is cementing its noteworthy place in the Australian festival calendar.
Chasing the coastline and celebrating some of the nation’s biggest artists, the touring festival will make its way to Torquay this Easter weekend while the world’s best surfers paddle out at Bells Beach.
But despite its success since the inaugural event last year, some festival-goers might not know who was responsible for the festival’s inception – 1978 world surfing champion, Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew.
“I always loved live music in the 80s. Surfing and music have run a parallel course in popular culture since the youth revolution in the 60s and into the 70s,” the former pro surfer said.
“In the 80s, there were so many pubs and places any day of the week to witness live, Australian music. I just wanted to bring it back to surfing.”
Partnering with triple j and the World Surf League (WSL), the 2019 lineup is headlined by a dynamic selection of Australia’s most established and rising artists including Angus and Julia Stone, Client Liaison, Hockey Dad, The Jungle Giants, Alex the Astronaut and Chitra.
Rabbit says he plays an active role in selecting which artists make the cut, but his teenage sons are the ultimate decision makers.
“I showed them the list of the artists we were looking at and my 17-year-old came back and said, ‘that’s sick dad!’. I said ‘OK, let’s book them’,” he laughed.
Stopping off at Coolangatta, Torquay and Busselton last year, The Drop added New Castle and Manly to its 2019 schedule.
Music lovers on the Surf Coast were quick to get their hands-on tickets for this year’s festival, with the event reaching sell-out point within one week of its release.
“We ran a very successful event last year. My partners are very professional – they know how to put together a festival and it’s this really cool thing at the end of the day,” Rabbit said.
“I always did feel that with the Torquay festival being around Easter that we would get traction.
“The festival has something for everyone, and we want everyone to have a really good experience. We had a fun time in Torquay last year and are looking forward to hanging out at Bells again.”
The Drop will kick off this Saturday April 20 from 3pm-10pm at the Torquay Common (1 Bell Street). Tickets to the event have sold out.