Ross Wilson. Musician and singer Daddy Cool.

Sunbury ’24 headliners named

Ross Wilson & The Peaceniks, along with Richard Clapton, will top the bill at April’s much-anticipated open air pop concert – Sunbury ’24.

The event is being held to commemorate a string of iconic Woodstock-style concerts that put Sunbury and Australia on the global rock map in 1972. Annual concerts continued until 1975, when Deep Purple headlined what was to be the event’s last hoorah.

And it all took place in a natural amphitheatre at George Duncan’s 620-acre farm along Jacksons Creek.

It’s just unfortunate John Fowler, one of those behind the original concerts, died just after Sunbury ’24 was announced by Hume City Council. He passed away on Tuesday 13 February.

The upcoming concert at The Nook, Vaughan St, will feature a handful of legendary performers, which includes Joe Camilleri, along with an as yet un-named line-up of contemporary Australian artists.

Confirmed to appear is Ross Wilson. He fronted Daddy Cool at the 1974 Sunbury Festival, at the time the band was known for its repertoire of 1950s covers, R&B, and doo-wop classics.

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Richard Clapton released his album Prussian Blue 50 years ago, and more than 20 albums later he’s still going strong. Like Wilson, he also appeared at the ’74 festival.

And back in 1973, Joe Camilleri (Black Sorrows), played with 15-piece art band the Double Decker Brothers (according to an article in Hit Music).

While the historic festivals each attracted 30,000-plus concert goers, Hume City Council has more modest ambitions, it’s preparing to sell 4,000 tickets priced at $30 each, and entry will be free for those aged under 18 when accompanied by an adult. Tickets to the fully licensed event go on sale midday Monday 26 February.

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In addition to a full line-up of live entertainment, with a 1pm start and a 9pm finale, there will be an exhibition of photos and videos of the 1970’s festivals on site. And there will be an exhibition at the Hume Global Learning Centre (Sunbury library), Macedon St.

Organisers say the lasting impact of the original Sunbury Festivals will deliver a healthy boost to Sunbury’s economy, and that at this stage “…there is no event planned for 2025”.

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Full Lineup

  • Ross Wilson & The Peaceniks
  • Richard Clapton
  • Joe Camilleri & The Black Sorrows
  • Bob ‘Bongo’ Starkie’s Skyhooks Show
  • Margret Roadknight
  • Spectrum
  • Matt Taylor & Phil Manning* (Chain)
  • Madder Lake
  • Emma Donovan
  • Karen Lee-Andrews
  • Sheldon Riley 
  • With MC Dave Eastgate

Note (13 April 2024) *Following publication of the line up, Phil Manning announced he was unable to attend.