Organisers, performers and punters agree - the 2021 Strings Attached WA Guitar Festival rocked the Margaret River region over the weekend.
Fans of all ages flocked to the festival headquarters at Margaret River HEART and surrounding venues to take in the programme of live music, workshops, information sessions, free outdoor performances and extensive exhibitions.
Weekend passes sold out ahead of schedule, community support for the festival was huge, and a number of events were so sold out that we sadly had to turn people away at the door.
"If anything, the festival highlighted how strong local support is for music," said festival director Dan White.
"Weekend passes sold out ahead of schedule, community support for the festival was huge, and a number of events were so sold out that we sadly had to turn people away at the door."
White said the varied program offered opportunities for people to connect with the festival regardless of their taste in music, or their interest in guitars.
"The Saturday schedule at the Sound Shell was a huge hit with many people bringing their instruments and playing along," he said.
"The Jazz Club session was a huge hit as well as the Saturday Main Event featuring Tracey Barnett, Rick Steele's Hot Biscuit Band, Coterie and Grace Barbe at The River, and the Sunday evening Bluegrass Parkway was also a huge turnout."
Workshops across the three day festival offered musicians and creatives to get up close and personal with professionals including Eskimo Joe's Kav Temperley and WA musos Nate Lansdell and VDELLI.
"The workshops all went really well, especially the Youth Program with the songwriting with Kav Temperley and Jamming on all Levels with Nate Lansdell getting amazing early feedback on getting emergings strings fans to engage with the craft," White told the Mail.
"The locked borders also meant we were able to secure some incredible musicians such as VDELLI and Luke Gallagher who are often performing interstate or overseas, but are based here in WA."
Festival attendees purchased a record amount of Strings Attached merchandise, and White said a number of performers also sold out of their own merchandise.
"We're over the moon about the response to this year's festival. Attendance was up this year from 2019," he said.
"We credit local support and overall huge support across WA for local music in making this happen.
"The industry was hit hard by COVID-19 and it's awesome to see how everyone has rallied behind the sector to get it up and going again.
"To be able to run a festival with close to 100 events in 13 venues over three days while much of the country can only dream about such things, the opportunity to take a stronger focus on the breadth of local WA talent in light of this was amazing."