Triple J One Night Stand (Mildura FReeZA)

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Saturday 17 May @ Nowingi Place, Mildura
Review by Bonnie Neyland, Mildura FReeZA crew

Mildura FReeZA Crew members and a huge crowd at Triple J One Night StandOn May 17th 2014, Mildura was lucky enough to host the Triple J's One Night Stand; an event that brought many walks of life to the banks of the mighty Murray River. When first announced on the radio, I was ecstatic! Triple J; such a well-known radio station and a vital promoter of Australian music, were coming to our town and by the next day all accommodation in the region was booked.

Since I can remember, I've had a burning passion for music, be it playing an instrument, singing or travelling far and wide to attend live gigs. I found that it was a perfect form of self-expression and emotional release, and one that I couldn't be without. It was this desire that urged me to study Sound Production and become a member of the FreeZa committee, a group ran by Mildura City Council to organize drug, alcohol and smoke free music events for youth, in the hope of one day pursuing a career within the industry. As a member of FreeZa, I was fortunate enough to volunteer backstage at the event as a form of work experience; a life changing event.

On the day of the event with the town buzzing with excitement and the streets lined with young tourists, I made my way to Nowingi place for an 8:30am start, where I was introduced to the Triple J crew; one of the leading teams in live sound and recording. The crew had transformed the once conservative stage into a full-scale production with cameras, lighting, amps and speakers almost doubling its original size. During the day, we unloaded equipment and instruments for each artist's sound check, delivered lunch to the artists, radio personalities and backstage crew and anything else to ensure the evening ran smoothly.

As the day grew older and the gates finally opened we watched the crowd pour in, creating a sea of people. The first act winners of the One Night Stand competition and Mildura's very own WZRDKID were called backstage and it was time to start the show. After each act, our job was to clear the stage and replace the set for the next act. It was all a massive adrenalin rush and time seemed to fly. Before long, the headline act Illy finished his last song and the crowd roared, sending chills through my bones. I knew that this was a moment I would never forget.

When it was all over I was a little sad, however, the rush I felt stayed with me for days afterwards and the advice and mentoring I acquired from the crew throughout the whole experience will stay with me for a lifetime. I cannot express how truly appreciative and grateful I am to the Triple J crew and FreeZa to be given this kind opportunity locally and I hope that there will be events like this in future for our town.

As it is these kinds of events that put Mildura on the map with budding musicians grasping at the chance to promote their music, it is fantastic to hear local unearthed artist Philly recently took out the National Indigenous Music Award and will be travelling to Darwin to perform at the awards later in the year - yet another young star continuing to develop the growing music culture here in Mildura.