ORGANISERS of Newcastle's inaugural LGBTQ+ street party, Roadwerk, say the event was shifted to a new venue and date to allow more money to be donated to the NSW Rural Fire Service.
Roadwerk was originally scheduled for January 25 at The Station, but will instead be held at the Lass O'Gowrie Hotel on February 1.
The move was met with anger and confusion on social media from some supporters, who had purchased tickets and accommodation for Roadwerk, which features live music, performance, art installation and DJs and celebrates LGBTQ+ culture.
Roadwerk began in Sydney in 2017 and organiser Kat Dopper told the Herald last month she wanted to take the street party to The Station "because it has that industrial feel, which is the whole premise of the event. It's about creativity in industrial spaces and creating a safe space for the LGBTQ community to come together."
A spokesman for Heaps Gay - the organisation behind Roadwerk - said on Wednesday that if the party went ahead at The Station they would need to cover venue and production costs.
By shifting to the Lass that cost is saved and will be donated to the RFS.
"Essentially the decision was made in consultation with CreateNSW who are providing funding for Roadwerk," he said. "The aim of the festival is to engage artists and the LGBTQ community, in not just Newcastle, but the larger Hunter region, we thought it was more appropriate to switch it up to be able to contribute to a local cause."
Roadwerk will feature live performances from New Jersey producer UNIIQU3, Wollongong bubblegum punk duo Cry Club and Newcastle artists Rachel Maria Cox, Morgana Osaki, Meer and Moonsign.
FORSTER songstress Jack River ramped up momentum for her forthcoming record on Wednesday by unveiling her latest single and video, Dark Star.
River, real name Holly Rankin, first began writing the indie-rock track seven years ago when she was 21 and listening to Oasis. Her goal was to write a track that replicated the feeling of "having your heart dragged through the room."
On February 14 River will release her seven-track EP Stranger Heart, with features Dark Star and previously-released singles Later Flight and Closer.
It'll be River's first record since her debut LP Sugar Mountain, which was nominated for two ARIA Awards and polled ninth in Triple J's best albums of 2018.
ALL roads once again lead Tamworth this week with the cream of the Hunter's country music community gearing up for another big festival campaign.
Leading the charge is Greta's Lyn Bowtell, who will perform alongside Adam Brand and Andrew Swift at the Opening Concert on Friday night at Toyota Park. Bowtell will also perform at Toyota Park on Saturday, plus has her own shows with Felicity Urquhart and Kevin Bennett (January 22) at West Tamworth Leagues and with the Southern Steel (January 26) at the Albert Hotel.
If you're trekking up the New England Highway, there's plenty of other gigs not to be missed.
Kurri Kurri's Tori Forsyth headlines an all-Hunter bill at the Welder's Dog on January 23 with Magpie Diaries and Ben Leece, while the latter also has gigs at the Tamworth Hotel on January 24 and 25.
New Newcastle resident Brad Cox will perform his outlaw country at the Albert Hotel on January 24 and fellow former Star Maker winner, Kirsty Lee Akers, plays the Social Family Records Live and Acoustic showcase at the Big Golden Guitar on January 23.
The Longyard Hotel hosts two of the Hunter's most celebrated artists in Travis Collins and Catherine Britt on January 22, and Natalie Henry performs at The Pub (January 18) and the Welder's Dog (January 22).
WINE MACHINE BILL PROGRAMMED
HUNTER fans have an opportunity to hear Brisbane indie heavyweights Jungle Giants preview tracks from their anticipated fourth album when they perform at the Wine Machine music festival on March 14.
Jungle Giants enjoyed major success with 2017's Quiet Ferocity and last year gave a sneak peak of their new direction with the single Heavy Hearted.
The band's next album is expected to be released in the first half of this year.
Joining the four-piece at Roche Estate will be DJ Hot Dub Time Machine, New Zealand electro-rockers The Naked and Famous, Kosovo-based producer and Ride It hit-maker Regard, Northeast Party House, Bag Raiders, Young Franco, Alice Ivy and Don West.
Given the Wine Machine tour takes place in various fire-affected regions like the Hunter and Canberra, the festival will be making an initial donation of $10,000 to be shared among national rural fire services. Also for every ticket sold, a $1 will be donated to the local RFS.
SAMMY'S DAY OUT
THE smooth and soulful sounds of Sammy Johnson are coming to Newcastle when he kicks off his Someday tour at the Cambridge Hotel on March 20.
The New Zealand-raised, Los Angeles-based vocalist embraces his Maori and Polynesian roots to blend soul, pop and reggae sounds and is best known for his 2013 tracks Don't Say Goodbye, Fall In Love and Give Me All.
Johnson has only performed sporadically in Australia over the past year as he's concentrated on touring heavily in the US and building his audience.