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Marrakai Madness Festival

SOME SAY IF it’s easy, it’s not worth doing. And organising the inaugural Marrakai Madness Festival hasn’t been easy.

By Tamara Howie

The line-up for the underground music festival is evolving as the-virus-that-shall-not-be-named has locked out many of the bands on the first run of posters. The gig features locals FUXACHE, Assailant and Indestructible Horse, but has lost interstate bands including headliners, Whitehorse.

But thanks to a dedicated event organiser, with the support of Brown’s Mart and Happy Yess – and subject to health advice – the show will go on.

Organiser and FUXACHE drummer Pete Rawlins says the locals always turn out a great show, and the cancellations have just made the other bands thirstier to sweat it out on a stage in Darwin in the future.

“All the interstate bands are super bummed but super keen to come to Darwin and play. We’ll put another show with a line-up as close as possible to the original one day. I say they need to come in the build-up, ‘cause it’s a denser experience anyway,” he laughs.

The festival was Rawlins’ brainchild to get more bands up for the underground scene in Darwin, with big plans to see it become a multi-day camping festival in, you guessed it, Marrakai.

“The idea was to have all genres of music – hip hop, punk, metal – all together, and have an annual event where we could bring new music up that we haven’t had before. A friend has a property out in Marrakai and I want to make it an open-air festival one day.”

Rawlins says he hopes the festival will help strengthen the Top End community and encourage a more diverse crowd – on stage and in the pit – with good music, a welcoming crowd, and a feed and beers to make sure no one goes hungry or thirsty.

“I’d like to see a more diverse demographic coming to the shows, especially women. Metals shows are very male oriented, like heavy music all around the world. But Shady, our singer, she’s really cool to watch on stage. My goal is to have a more diverse mix of people enjoy it.”

The ticket price includes a BBQ, with merch packs and other goodies up for grabs. The funds raised will go towards covering the expenses of the interstate bands who are now unable to join.

Marrakai Madness Festival
COST $20 | $25 DOOR

Header, thumbnail & inset: Fuxache. Photo: Steve Kelk for Foldback Media NT

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