Since 2009, South Australians have made a pilgrimage to the luscious vineyards of the Clare Valley on the Easter long weekend to revel and camp at a music festival with a difference: Blenheim.
It is where The Coconut Kids would be gorging on their Easter eggs anyway if they were not featured on the line-up.
Julian Ferguson, one of the lead singers of the joyous and eccentric world music-inspired ensemble The Coconut Kids, raves about Blenheim, a not-for-profit event that raises money for charitable work in Cambodia. “The whole band have been to Blenheim and it’s such a relaxed atmosphere.
“It’s the kind of festival where you can BYO; [some] festivals can feel quite commercial, [but] Blenheim you can tell feels quite organic and it’s quite unique compared to other festivals. You really get a sense of community and it feels very South Australian.
“If you have a read their website, it’s quite funny. They say that there is a no dickhead policy; just the wording of it is fantastic. They want everybody to be friendly with each other and have a good time and it is reflected in the people that run the festival and the people that go to the festival.”
Since their inception a year ago, The Coconut Kids have become adept at playing the festival circuit, due in part to their irreverent on-stage antics and instantly-hummable tunes. “We’re very much a live band in many ways; we record quite well too, but we thrive off playing live.
“We love shows and one of the things we’ve really learnt, because we’ve started playing festivals quite quickly, you really have to match your music to your audience. Especially with live this day and age, you’ve really got to nail a live show to get anywhere I think.”
Not content with playing festivals, the members of the band have pooled their diverse array of skills to co-ordinate the immensely popular Coconut Club pop-up festivals that have brought new life to pockets of the Adelaide CBD.
“We’ve run three of these little festivals. “The idea is that we’d take an urban space that isn’t normally used for music or events even and you activate it and we were able to cultivate a whole, new audience because people come along and see us that wouldn’t necessarily listen to us normally if they saw us as just another band playing at the pub.
"By attaching the word 'festival' and having a secret location, all of a sudden there was a bit of a buzz about it.”
The buzz around the band is almost at bee-hive proportions as they prepare to jet off to Austin, Texas for SXSW, the annual music industry where stars are born. Julian and the rest of the band are delicately curating their set-list for this momentous opportunity.
“We’re pretty new on the scene; we’ve been around for a bit over a year; we’re getting pretty excited… the tricky thing is, it’s our first showcase where you get to play such a small set. So it’s kind of like 'which songs do we do?'. The joys of the politics in a band come into play then.” The Coconut Kids join Tijuana Cartel, Sahara Beck and a host of others at BlenheimFest 13-14 April.