Dushyant Kumar Chairperson
In early 2014, a mysterious social media post seeking volunteers to help with setting up the site for an emerging music festival in the Clare Valley piqued his interest. As he followed several links down the digital rabbit hole, he eventually arrived at the Blenheim Music & Camping Festival! Here he discovered a fresh and unique festival, with altruistic intentions and hosted in a naturally breathtaking nook of Mid-North South Australia.
Tim “Tennis” Ennis Deputy Chairperson
Tim Ennis, commonly known as ‘Tennis’, joined the committee in 2013, but has been involved with the festival for many years in varying ways. Tennis brings to the festival his love for music and entertaining, combined with his natural ability to organise and run a flowing bar. In his spare time, Tennis works as a civil engineer and has also been spotted performing as a penguin in the children’s show ‘Sea Star Rock’. At BlenheimFest you’ll usually find Tennis dancing in the shadow of the Goose Trumpet if he’s not pouring pints for everyone.
Alister Sandow Treasurer
When Alister and Friends dreamt up this crazy idea to have a festival in his and Helen’s back yard, he did envision a sweet Festival but nothing as good as the reality that Blenheim is today. During the rest of the year Alister is busy running Vineyards and a flock of sheep. When it can be squeezed in Alister likes to be relaxing over at Yorkes finding a wave or catching a gig in one of Adelaide’s intimate music venues.
Karen King Secretary
Music and a country setting is a natural alliance for Karen. Hailing from rural Yorke Peninsula with parents who sang in the local choir and played piano and organ at local events, 3 brothers who played and assortment of instruments including guitar, saxophone, clarinet, trumpet, piano, flute and euphonium, music was always an integral part of her life.
She is a mother of four, step mum of another four and grandmother of two, an obsessive recycler, environmentalist and health nut. She has a
degree in psychology and an ongoing interest in music as therapy.
Karen also worked for nine years with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people developing and managing educational programs. She is an enthusiastic supporter of live original music. With her partner Andrew she has been involved in the organisation of live music events for emerging
musicians for the past 10 years in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
Karen also hosts an annual house party showcasing the talents of various award winning Adelaide musicians at her home in Seaview Downs that is one of the highlights of her year. She has attended music festivals all over the world and thinks Blenheim is one of the best.
Helen Turner Deputy Chairperson
Hells has being involved in Blenheim since its inception and loves catering to the masses whether in the early years cooking curries for the punters, or lately supplying back stage and the staff with delicious morsels of goodness to keep everyone going. During the event she is found back stage hosting all our awesome artists. When it’s not festival time Hells is a valuable employee of the farm business and is usually hanging out with Picho and Chimi shifting sheep or attending to vineyards.
Anne Bastian Board Member
Anne’s professional life has taken a few directions. She started as a librarian – working in Adelaide, Darwin and Melbourne. She then turned her hand to teaching – tutoring and then lecturing in information management at UniSA. With the arrival of her first child Anne sought part-time work and, reflecting her family’s love of words, became an editor, writer and adult educator. This led to work in both the private and public sectors. In latter years Anne worked primarily in urban planning and development. Anne is a passionate greenie and owns 40 acres of untouched scrub populated with birds, kangaroos, euros and lizards. Now semi-retired, Anne is writing a novel and taking on too many gardening and creative projects. Anne’s latest calling is being a wedding celebrant, which she loves. Anne has watched Blenheimfest grow since its inception and is delighted to be on the Board, helping to ensure its long term success.
Tiahna Thiele Board Member
Tiahna's first experience of Blenheimfest was at the 2016 festival. It was whilst attempting to salsa dance with her best friend during Nuvo's set that she swore she would find a way to get involved and be a part of the festival. With an unconditional love for South Australia's lush live music scene and a background in events management and Marketing, Tiahna has jumped head first into 2017's festival to join the Blenheim family. She fills her days running events at Adelaide University for The Union which range from intimate crafting sessions to large scale music events and O Week. In her spare time she enjoys a cheeky boogie, catching live gigs and spending too much money on brunch. Any time she can squeeze a music festival in the swing she is the first to rally up the troops.
Tiahna's background in events has stemmed from a double business degree in event management and marketing where she graduated in 2014. She has dipped her toes in many areas of Adelaide's arts and music scene ranging from the coordination of events such as Emerge, a fundraising event for the Nepal earthquakes with a live music and spoken word focus, and the walking bar tour Small Bar, Big City, which featured in the 2014 Festival of Architecture and Design. She has also had hands
on experience with The Adelaide City Councils Splash Adelaide team, Carclew Youth Arts Fuse Festival and The Festival Centre's Wasabi Short Film competition. Tiahna is thrilled to be on board Blenheim for 2017 and cannot wait to party with you all.
Hillside camping in the heart of the Clare Valley, amidst rolling hills, luscious vineyards and drystone walls.....the warm setting sun, plenty of cold beer....all in the shadow of a lovingly restored, 150 year old bluestone building!
What could possibly make this sound any better... if you were thinking 20+ amazing international, interstate and local SA bands, 1500 friends, two stages, a hay bale amphitheatre and a massive Gum tree....then read on....
BlenheimFest is a locally supported, privately run, not-for-profit festival, held at Easter time at Blenheim in the Clare Valley. Our aim is to showcase talented local musicians, raise funds for New Hope Cambodia.....and above all, to throw a party that makes you want to come back year after year! Now in its sixth incarnation, BlenheimFest continues to impress visitors and defy sceptics, proving you don’t need corporate sponsorship and international headline acts to put on a great festival.
We continue to support New Hope Cambodia - a grass roots, rapidly growing Non-Government Organisation who aims to provide hope, dignity and promise to the people of Cambodia (for more information visit www.newhopecambodia.com). So this year again the good tunes, good times and good vibes will all equate to a good cause!
All those involved with BlenheimFest, which includes our supportive patrons have now help to donated over $47,000 to New Hope Cambodia and local Clare Valley charities since BlenheimFest started in 2010.
Blenheim Music and Camping Festival could be described as the logical progression when explaining what has happened inside the Blenheim grounds since June 2009. It all started in the middle of winter in the Clare Valley when we all decided that a skate ramp was a necessity to survive the long cold winter. After downloading a B grade skate ramp design, building commenced. No one had any experience of skating, not to mention building a ramp, so some might say we fluked it. After 3 months of hard work it was finished and it is still, 5 years later, as solid as the day it was built.
The enthusiasm for building continued and an idea for ‘The Goose Trumpet’ was born. Renovating an abandoned room underneath the skate ramp began by shifting a massive pile of junk, a few rat homes and shovelling out 5 tonne of mud before any improvements could be made. First was a jarrah floor, then a stair case to the skate ramp, plus a few niceities like a pot belly and a door. Today ‘The Goose Trumpet’ is a bar and jam room where local friends and musos come together.
BlenheimFest itself began in 2010 with 3 bands, 3 DJ’s, a small PA run off a generator and 150 enthusiastic friends/legends. For its first 2 years, Blenheimfest was a private event. Our third year was when we realised we had something we wanted to share with everyone and we went public.
Even though it has grown exponentially, we are keen to keep the positive roots of the event by not letting it grow too big.
BlenheimFest’s future is highly dependent on you guys! As no one is paid, and so the fun and love of BlenheimFest continues, you can help by being a great patron, being responsible, looking after friends and strangers and not making a total mess (but if you do, help us clean it up!).