Narara Music Festival 1983
The first Narara Music Festival was held over the Australia Day long weekend in 1983 on the Central Coast of NSW. It wasn’t actually held at Narara but at nearby Somersby.
The concert featured an all-Australian all-star lineup as follows
- Jon English
- Moving Pictures
- Australian Crawl
- Zarsoff Bros
- Mark Gillespie
- Dynamic Hepnotics
- Mental As Anything
- The Church
- The Angels
- Men At Work
- Mighty Guys
- Uncanny X-Men
- Jo Jo Zep
- Richard Clapton
- Cold Chisel
- Rose Tattoo
- Rupert B
- No Fixed Address
- Mainstage Sound – ACT-Jands
- Lights – Jands Concert Productions
- Second Stage Sound & Lights – Soundco P/L
- Howard Page – Audio Director
- Jon Lemon – Audio Engineer
- Monitors – Kevin Farrant
- Graham Hicks – Third Man
- Jeff Merryweather – Lighting Director
Images from Narara Music Festival 1983
The Angels. Comin’ Down Live at Narara 1983
The Angels. Eat City Live at Live at Narara 1983
I’m just curious as to where exactly in Narara the music festival in 1983 was held. I am currently living at Narara and it would be interesting to know. If only I’d been able to attend.
It was held at Old Sydney Town
Not quite Old Sydney Town, but you could see OST across the water or river, the festival was in a big open area that had a big dam where we all went Woodstockie and got covered in mud. I recall a Canadian guy drowned while we were there- the only downer on a magic weekend.
I HAVE PHOTOS OF TGE MUD BATH
I was there and remember the drowning. Got told to avoid yellow dot trips of the speaker system. The tent with the Canadian flag was where we bought the acid. I stayed under the communal tent for the concert.
Yes – i was in the dam at the time. A guy next to me asked me to help him and then he dragged the body out of the dam right beside me. RIP.
Beside that, it was the most awesome concert ever.
Covered from head to feet in mud a whole group of us made our way to the main stage and danced around covered in mud… you can see in some of the photos posted here.
look at the line up and i was there at 15 years of age. still loving the music and it was held across the small lake of old sydney town…rock on. ha still got the t shirt.
It was right beside Old Sydney Town, I remember looking through the cyclone fence and watching the dressed up soldiers doing a display in Old Sydney Town.
It was beside old Sydney Town, I went to Narrara both years and I remember standing at a cyclone fence watching the dressed up
soldiers in Old Sydney Town.
Somersby next to Old Sydney Town.
Hi Robyn, I’m pretty sure it was actually held on a farm at Somersby.
I’m pretty sure it was at Narara because my ex-fiancee actually attended and he grew up on the Central Coast so I’m sure he wouldn’t have said Narara if it was Somersby. So are there no records of where it was held?
Hi Robyn, I’ve had it confirmed now from two sources that it was at Somersby. I’ve included the links to the references in the article now. One of the sites even had an image of the concert tickets (see the top of this article) which give the address as Somersby.
It’s confusing I know. Why would they call it Narara if it wasn’t there?
Thanks for reading.
It was called “Narara” because it sounded good, at tleast the promoters thought so, not the many tourists that got lost, and had to shell for a taxi to Somersby.
COAST FM 963
I was at Narara 83 & 84 … what an experience … I have been trying to fing information on both years and was pleased to at least find something on 83 here …. is there any information about 84 anywhere ? Trying to remember who played …. I still have my T-shirt from 83 with all bands listed on the back so that was easy …. but nothing from 84 …. I do remember though how annoyed a lot of people were with the fact that they had international artists … anyway, any info would be much appreciated …. very pleased to have found your site …
Hi Roxanne, nice to hear from you and glad you like the site.
I’ll do an entry soon for Narara 84. Do you reckon you could send me a picture of that Narara T-shirt you’ve got? I’d love to add it to this story. Front and back if you can manage it.
Thanks again for your comments. Hope to see you here again.
I still have my ticket from Narara 83
I kept it in my old photo album
If you send me email or phone number I will send you photos of my 1983 Nararra t shirt
I look forward to your 84 entry …. I am turning this house upside down to find my t-shirt …. I thought I knew where it was stored but seems I am wrong … as soon as I find it I will definitely take photos and send them to you ….
I went to tanalorn, And both narara 83, 84, still got a 83 t-shirt, all three where a hoot, I’m pretty sure they ended Narara, because a American tourist drowned in the dam there, I’m not 100% certain tho, it would be awesome for this to be resirected again, cheers Megsy
There was a drowning in the dam, but the 84 concert got torrential rain and it ended up being a huge mud pit. Tents got washed away and people deliberately slid in the mud for fun.
WHY DON’T THEY BRING IT BACK ? – IT THERE NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE ON THE CENTRAL COAST TO MAKE IT HAPPEN ? HALF THE BANDS ARE STILL TOURING !! HA HA…CHEERS
I was at 84. Sat night lineup: Sandi and the Sunsets, the Models, INXS, the Pretenders, Talking Heads, Mental as Anything. First time I saw the Hoodoo Gurus who were standouts. I bought a T shirt but lost it before I ever got to wear it. Would love to see the photos of the T shirt.
Narara was actually held at the back of Old Sydyney Town / Australian Reptile Park site at Somersby. I know this because I was part of the clean up team after.
Yeah, would really like to see the stuff for the 1984 one – images I can remember were Talking Heads doing the full routine with the fat man suit etc, and the song “change in mood” which was absoutely perfect, Def Leopard poncing around like loops and getting bombarded with water bottles, and the endless torrential rain – My tent and companions soaked to the skin, and Austen Tayshus (I think) waling around in the middle of the night shouting “Narrara – the Celebration F@#$%g continues”….
I too would love to see the line ups for 1984. I was also there in 1983 and 1984. Caught a drumstick from Martin Chambers of Pretenders which I still have. Went to a Simple Minds concert at Selina’s after Narara and was up near the front when I felt a person crawling between my legs on the ground. It was Chrissy Hynde trying to get closer to Jim Kerr. It was at Narara where they had first met. I still remember the Angels concert from 1983. There are many who say it was there best ever performance. Saw them again at Revesby Workers on Saturday night. They still have it what it takes.
INXS performing ‘Original Sin’ live at ‘Narara 84’ is included on INXS’s ‘I’m Only Looking’ 2-dvd set…also Garry Beers (bass player) talks about the year before Narara ’83…where the band went on stage to start their set with Underneath The Colours…and he was out the back on a port-a-loo…and no one noticed he was missing so they started playing without him!
I was at both 83 and 84 Narara festivals but I also remember another one earlier either 81 or 82 called something like “Tenterden Festival”. Does anyone have any recollection of this festival?
It was called Tanalorn, first ever concert on the coast for aust. day., next year started Narara, and yes everyone was enoyed because international artists played.
But it was fantastic!, I was at all of the live concerts, Tanalorn,Narara 1.2.3.amazing time, amazing artists.
I remember one around that time called “Tanelorn” or something similar. Does that ring a bell?
I went to that out Past Stroud..we had a truck accident with 15 or so people on the back and it closed the road right near the entrance to the concert-anyone remember that..a man and a woman helped me id like to talk to them if they are still around…
Tanelorn… Yeah mate, I remember the accident held up the traffic for hours. My wife and I had hitch hiked from Newcastle and got a lift with some “speed freaks” in a VW Combie. We stayed with them and shared some bourbon, tequila and some good smoko for quite a while, then finally decided to walk the few miles or so it was to the gate, only to find we had what seemed like another mile or more to get to the stage. Wouldn’t have normally been a problem to walk that distance but we were already shitfaced before we got in. Also the wife was a big fan of “Rodriguez”, but he was totally smashed and couldn’t remember the lyrics to his own songs. She was pretty pissed off about that. Also, someone decided they needed my camera more than I did, so I lost what I’m sure would have been some fairly good pix close to the stage. Great time nevertheless.
Tanelorn has a facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tanelorn-Festival/195188227201504?sk=wall&filter=12
Hi Wayne, people don’t believe me when I tell this story as he was taken off the program list , or I cant see any mention apart from yours. Can you please tell me what year this was? I think it was the 1983 concert? Has to be the best few days of music in my life. Cheers,
Yeah Tannelorn 82 That was Victoria from memory.
I was at nararra in 84 as well.
It was like Woodstock would have been in 69
Remember most of the bands and all the drugs that were on offer, the shower tents with gaping holes in them, the rain and the mud
Sorry John, I’m afraid your incorrect about “Tanelorn”. It was held just outside of Scone, not far from Newcastle in N.S.W. Cheers mate.
’83 I remember getting off the train and the station being packed ! and heaps of people standing around waiting, we stood a bit and saw people heading off on foot, so trekked after them.
lol no busses ever came from memory, so glad we didn’t wait too long !
Thanks so much for putting this together, I have been searching for ages to fill the gaps of who played there !
Happy to know I got some right anyway lol, must have had something to do with that silver pouch of goon in the pack lol
Was that really 25 years ago? I was only 15 at the time and can remember the chaos on the trains and stations when travelling from Newcastle to Gosford. I never made it to the festival and still feel like I just missed out on a big part of Aussie Music Festival history. I’ve made up for it since though. Just last year, Narara ’83 came up in a disussion with some other ‘old punters’ at Homebake ’07 – seems like some people who did go to Narara got ‘hooked’ there and have been ‘doing’ festivals since. I have a Narara ’83 badge and can send a photo for the site if you like.
“You’re never too old for a Music Festival. It’s just that everyone else is too young.”
Hi Steve, I’d love a picture of that badge, that would be brilliant thanks.
No problem – where should I send it?
Thanks Steve, just send it to:
hi, was at narara 84 as a sixteen year old.Remember seeing Rodney Rude, who was an up and coming comedian! remember it rained and rained and turned into a big mud park
I have a program for 84, It is a 4 pages brochure and has all artists listed
Thanks BAYJED, would you possibly be able to scan it and send it over to me at email@example.com ?
Info on the ’84 concert has been quite hard to come across and this would help enormously. I’ve been able to find a list of the overseas bands but not a full artist listing.
I hope to hear from you soon.
Thanks again, Mark
I was at both 83 & 84, I think I still have the keyring from 83. Hated the rain in 84. I am wondering if anyone remembers a guy called “Alligator”, he was from Sydney and drove a green Monaro.
Yep, the Alligator is Richard Brent. Only came by your comment now, apologies for the 9 year delay.
NARARA 1983 Originally broadcast on Channel 10 and simulcast with 2MMM FM 105 Sydney this is a song from The Angels set “Comin Down”
I recorded this on my old VHS machine back in 1983 so the quality was not that good I have re-enhanced the video and audio and it’s scrubbed up quite good enjoy The Angels live at Narara 1983……
NARARA 1983 Originally broadcast on Channel 10 and simulcast with 2MMM FM 105 Sydney this is a song from The Angels set “Eat City”
I recorded this on my old VHS machine back in 1983 so the quality was not that good I have re-enhanced the video and audio and it’s scrubbed up quite good enjoy The Angels live at Narara 1983……
I have just found my badge from 84. Let me know if you are interested in it.
My t-shirts died from being worn too many times.
84 theme was “the celebration continues”
I’d love a picture of that badge Lee-Anne, that would be brilliant. You can get it to me via:
I went to the Tanelorn concert. It was held near Stroud in NSW mid north coast. I was right at the front of the stage when Rodriguez came on stage. He put his music on a stand and then knock it all over on the stage. The roadies came in and helped him clean it up and get started. He was amazing.
I was also at Narara 83 and 84. I remember Talking Heads and chisel were amazing. Barnsey drank at least a full bottle of vokda and then jumped into the crowed, worked his way to the mixing tower climbed up and the crowd went nuts. Then he made his way down and back to the stage. It was an insane weekend. I found some pics of me and our crew who worked at the the 83 festival. Great memories.
Gosh it is good to remember the Tanelorn and Narara events.
Narara was most memorable I had a Hair Cutting/ Shaves stand. Triple m were the concert organisers if my memory serves me well.Great fun & hard work! I have some pics of the weekend. My daughters wear my Tanelorn t-shirts but sadly lost the Narara t’s. My memories of Tanelorn are the all night traffic que’s and wind storms on the first day, followed by heat.. I thought it was a mini woodstock!
be well julie.
Hi Dave & Julie, thanks for your memories. I’d love a copy of any pictures you might have if that’s possible. Also, any band lists you might have as I have limited info on Narara ’84 and almost none on Tanelorn.
Thanks again for your contribution.
If you can remember Tanelorn you are doing well!
Great weekend. Specific personal memories; cars queued for hours to get in, Moving Pictures, Midnight Oil, Split Enz, Swanny, fires round the main stage bowl, bikers kegs,warm beer and a single nude madman who told us we were all about to die!
Great stuff, Rammy
Just come across these posts, I was managing a band called ‘The Curly band’ a great bunch of russian rockers, they played second stage at Narara, arrived in a stretch limo, hired a chopper, flew over the site dropping pamphlets advertising their set which blew all over Old Sydney Town, copped a huge fine but what a great memory.
Narara 84, all those years ago, i was there on duty with the local fire brigade overnight from Saturday night to Sunday morning and do remember seeing Mental as Anything before procedings ended for the night. I spent much of the night perched on top of a fire truck keeping an eye out for spotfires/large bon fires or attempted bushfires. Saw some interesting characters, and some that were a bit dusty as in under the weather. Later that day it rained and the concert was abandoned and never to be repeated.Confirming the location it was at Somersby behind Old Sydney town, we entered along a dirt road off Wisemans Ferry Road that ran along behind Old Sydney town, near where the reptile park is today. The Local Gosford bush fire brigades held their annual field days on the site around the early 1990’s, haven’t been there for a while but back then you could still visualise where it all happened and where the stage area was.
So pic 19 of 22 (Jeff White) of that dam at the Narara concert is where the crocs are now at the Reptile Park??? Looks like it.
Hi, I’d also love and pix/audio/video footage of that 1981 Tanelorn gig ?
I would love to get hold of any pix/audio/video of the Tanelorn gig. It is a part of Australian rock history that seems to have been poorly archived.
I would like to say thank you very much for remembering my brother Jeffrey and not forgetting him on your list of people for Nararra 83…… i remember pleading with him to let me be a part of it and go for the weekend! I was about 13 at the time!! no-way was the answer!!!!… thank you again,. from Lisa Merryweather
just found this site. Waiting to see the Angles at Mudgee sat 18th oct. I went to Narara 83 and also 84 which was washed out. I can still feel how it felt on the night the angles played. What an unreal weekend jan 83. I am watching Angels Live at Narara.
I seem to recall seeing the Hitmen as a four piece on the Friday night on the main stage. as well as the Johnnies with Roddy Radaj, and possibly NZ Pop aka Pop Mechanix. Sadlt it’s all a blur…
What great memories.
I went with a group of mates to both 83 & 84 and they rate as two of the best experiences of my life.
Talking Heads had just finished their “Stop Making Sense” tour and Narara was their last stop.That set and the sight of Jimmy Barnes the year before surfing the crowd and climbing the sound tower will be forever remebered.
Other highlights were the “Mud Men” and buying loads of extra string for the kites.
We were responsible for them being banned as we added an extra hundred metres or so and interfered with the air traffic.
The acid was brilliant too.
I was at both and they were definately awesome events. I do think that the second one with the introduction of the OS bands detracted somewhat from the first one. I agree with Chris about the acid, there was some good stuff around…..ahhh the memories…..
hi just a lil info re the 83 gig @ narara no glass bottles no cans no grog .I was the guy who sold 40.000 bottles of the then new 1.25 plastic bottles of coke the punters were buying them empty half out then fill it with booze bless them the VIP AREA was a blast. I know a million stories but you as always had to be there. the guys who put it on are legends in the rock industry and those who are still are STILL ROCKIN .
Ah, Narara, ’83 – what memories. The heat, the people, the chemical amusement aids, the MUSIC. I’ll never forget watching the sun set in the West as the full moon rose in the East behind the stage, where The Church launched into one hypnotic song after another. Nothing has come close to that long weekend. Every Oz band gave it their best. Special mention to the Allniters. We returned for ’84 to see all foreign egos take over, each one wanted to be the headline act, then the rain, more rain, heavier rain, mud, mud, rain washed any remaining magic away.
I was at both Narara events, and they were held in Somersby on a farm.
It was the most amazing event. A huge range of the best in Australian music and the next year with a swag of international artists.
The heat was intolerable, the food awful, the toilets… yuck, but that was all soon forgotten when the bands started.
We drove to the event, so were not stranded at Narara station like so many others were. It seems strange that security allowed so much alcohol and other dangerous goods into the event.
And who could forget the mud people!! After swimming in the dam, mudding up like human chocolates, they went amok into the crowd at the front of the stage (in those days there was no such thing as a mosh-pit, the whole crowd was one).
There was a real charge in the air in that event, and it must live on as one of the seminal events that cemented various bands credentials.
I had the official t-shirt for all these years, and about 1992 had to throw it away as it was cheap Chinese cotton and just dissolved in the washing machine.
Beautiful graphics. The speaker stax had the same graphics on massive silk screened banners. If anyone knows where I can buy them from, I will be the first to take ’em!!
For many years I enjoyed playing a cassette tape of the 83 Angels recorded by Howard Page in the Jands shipping container. Great concerts. There was also a festival called Wiracimbe or something, on a property near Wauchope. Seeing Barnes and his brother perform togethor there was excellent.
I was there!!! OMG!! Was just looking for a link somewhere to this and found your page! Yes it was a farm at Stroud. WOW!! This is great! Brought back some awesome memories. Thank you!
Wow,great memorys,Tanelorn i was there,I remember going with my brother and a few mates in his vw ute with canvas back,it took us forever to get in because of all the cars,one road in only,remember the food was good ,the hash was even better,washing in the river nude,the music was first class,the people ,the pritty girl i hooked up with, she even came back to my town after the concert,Jerrie if your out there love to catch up babe,the rest is a blurrrr,lol.Narara 83 remember it was hot, shit food,tents every where,the acid was good ,i also remember every one getting off at Narara train station wondering where the the concert was at only to find out it was no where near Narara it was at somersby back of old sydney town.Narara 84 remember going ,didnt have a ticket tryed to jump the fence with about six mates, got in ok but as soon as we landed inside we were caught bye sercurty and told to climb back over the fence shit,any way had to go and bye a pass in,and then the rain came down and down and down,the mud people were having fun ,the music was good.
I remember the food at Tanelorn being terrible. It was all this vegetarian garbage if I remember correctly. Not a steak or sausage in sight. We ended up eating these vege hot dogs most of the time because they looked like meat. I got these noodles at one stage and after a couple of bites, threw the rest in the bin. I wish I’d known beforehand. I could’ve made a killing doing hamburgers and steak sandwiches.
Narara 83 was awesome and included Doug Mulray doing “I’m a Punk” on the second stage which I havn’t seen mentioned elsewhered along with classic performaces by The Radiators, INXS, Cold Chisel, The Angels and Rose Tattoo among others. Who could forget the Tent City and the fact that the police were not allowed on site? A long weekend of drug induced kharma with no angst in sight,
’84 was forgettable due to RAIN and some prima donas from overseas.
Werikimbi Festival, held near Wauchope, was far more laidback.
The concert was at old sydney town
I was working for Goldrush at the 83 event as their foldback engineer. Goldrush played very early on the Saturday. It was a most spectacular summers day and as I remember the 50,000 or so punters in attendance had a great time. Towards the end of the Goldrush set I dropped a tab of acid, a brown barrell as I recall. I remember talking to Andrew Farris and Michael Hutchence back stage and feeling terribly alarmed when Andrew’s head exploded. I was greatly relieved some hours later when I saw INXS take the stage with Andrew who’s head was completely intact. After experiencing many great days in my 30 plus years in the music business, this one stands out as one of the weirdest. The musical highlights were definately INXS and the Angels…awesome day, why this concept died is beyond me.
I was at Narara 83 as a 16yr old. I was one of the Mud People, and can recall waiting in a bar line for ages as the acid kicked in, only to get to the front, try to place my order as the bar-girl`s face melted and dropped into the dirt. I ran away screaming. Later I was so exhausted, I fell asleep during Rose Tattoo. Not an easy task. Chisel and The Angels were awesome. Happy days. Bikies with pink umbrellas in the sun. Unisex showers. Great hash. Ah, memories
Wow I remember Narara. What I do remember is the Saturday night and being mesmerised by Talking Heads (a band I had never taken any notice of) starting their set with Psyhco Killer. I was hooked! This was folowed by Eurythmics, Eurogliders and them as well.
I liked Talking Heads before seeing them at Narara but after seeing them play there in 1984 even more so. Bands like the Eurythmics, Simple Minds, Pretenders Inxs were also fabulous but it was Talking Heads who were the standout for me! It was the best concert I have ever seen even though the last couple of days were washed out but I do remember lying there under the stars and being blown away by that band. I also remember a sea of tents and trying to find my own amongst them all. It wasn’t easy!
I was at 83 & 84. I was 17, I remember seeing the Angels and everyone holding up their lighters as a flame show. I also remember being the only one dancing amongst the hungover hoards on the sunday morning to Hoodoo Guru’s. 83 was the best, lots of weed and even a weed raffle. It made me a festival lover, now I frequent Woodford Folk festival and this years nimbin mardigrass.
hey Rick I dont suppose you were doing monitors in 81 at Tanelorn for Goldrush as well? I am pretty sure it was their drum kit that got blown off stage during a freak wind storm on the Saturday night?? What a classic that was as the whole kit and drummer fell off teh back of the stage. Amazing stuff. Matt Finish played that night as well and the .
Don’t forget Sunday arvo 1984, John English doing Six Ribbons and starting to laugh as the rain poured down. “What the f*** am I doing” or such he said and stopped the song. hahaha That followed by the roadies doing a 30 minute sound check for Def Leppard as we filled up plastic bottles and hurled them at the stage. Man we were annoyed – they reckoned it was unsafe on stage – well were we unsafe as we were drowning!! 4 inches in an hour from memory and every ounce of food scraps and crap suddenly rose from the ground and circled our ankles.
there’s a great write up of Jeff Merryweather in the current issue of CX (June 2009) if anyone gets a chance to see it.
Hey Jeff…no I only worked for Goldrush between January and June 83…its more than likely the foldback guy for Goldrush at that gig was Rick Cain who was a good mate of mine and last seen working at the Arts centre in Brisbane.
drove up from Sydney in 83 with my best mate Thorpey in my 67 valiant.We pulled off the lining of the back door and stashed it with a couple of flagons and some other stuff and smuggled it in past the searchers at the entrance.
We were 21 years old and the music was just relentlessly brilliant.I seem to recall one of the acts(maybe chisel)arriving in a chopper,but then again I might have dreamt it.The Angels never played better I reckon.
On the last day heaps of people had bailed out and Bullamakanka and the Bushwackers and the other guys put on a show that I’ve never forgotten.It was “Australiana” at its very best.
Put me in a time machine and take me back!!!
To all you bands and crew,thanks for the memories.
As today is the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, it brought back memories of Narara ’83. That was one of the best musical and social experiences imaginable. Reading the comments from you guys made me smile. Goldrush was always a favourite – ‘Duelling Banjos’. I also remember the lighters and Angels on Saturday night. But what about Jimmy Barnes climbing up on the scaffold on Saturday night! Unreal time!
Hi Jeff, that was my kit that was blown away by freak winds at Tanalorn… It was raining and quite windy that afternoon and the audience were covered in blankets and raincoats. But at sunset, the weather cleared just as Matt Finish started playing. On the last beat of our last song, the wind picked up the two cymbals I’d just hit and carried them away. An amazing day.
Hey John – how goes it? Always loved the band – saw you guys heaps. Actually I started playing guitar just so I could fumble my way thru ‘Respectable’ and ‘Hanging On’ and impress my mates!!!
I met Rick Grossman a few times and had a few beers with him during the Divinyls days (mid 80’s) as well and he always had fond memories of the band. Do you see him much nowadays?
Somewhere I have a few pics of you guys from that gig at Tanelorn. Not great shots but ok. I will dig them out and send them thru. I have sent some other Tanelorn stuff and Narara 84 pics thru to Mark Gibson but as yet he has only put up my 83 Narara pictures. Not sure whats happening there, maybe there are legal issues Mark??
Hi Jeff, sorry for not posting the rest of your images. there are no problems with them, just a lack of time lately to update this site.
Some of my other commitments have recently finished so I will be updating this site again much more frequently now. Your wonderful stuff will be up soon.
No problems, I understand completely. I see they are up now, so will endeavor to dig out some more when I get time as well.
I went to both Nararas……..I remember it was $40 to get in, which seemed a lot at the time…..but these days how much would you pay to see these or a similar lineup………its almost impossible to put a dollar value on that experience……..What amazes me is you never hear anything about NARARA 83 or 84!!!!!!!…..it was an amazing time for our generation and Aussie music…….
It was a shame 84 was hit by rain……though the memory of 83 does more than compensate………..
Grace Sissini, if you happen to read this please contact me……
I’m not sure… but did I send thru some pictures of Men at Work and Moving Pictures at all?? I know I scanned them in to my computer?? If I didn’t then let me know and I will redo them for you.
Hi, would love to see those photos of Men at Work. If you could email them to me that’d be great! Cheers!
Hi Jeff, yes you did and I will get them up here in the next few days. I’m only just getting back to updating this site after what’s been a REALLY busy year.
The other one you sent me which was interesting was the tanelorn article from Sonics. Any chance you could send me a bigger version? My dodgy old eyes could read the print!!! I’ve picked up a few snippets of info regarding Tanelorn recently & that article would be a big help.
Thanks again for all your contributions to this site. It is very much appreciated.
Hi all……well this site is amazing, I remember both Nararas I never got to go I was only 10 in 83 but my sisters went. They had to hide their weed in my room because the oldies had a feeling that they were up to no good.
I love the photos,unfortunately the music will never be the same as I sit here listening to the latest R&B rubbish coming across the airwaves.
Thanks for the walk down memory lane.
Can anyone remember Rodriguez playing at Narara? Maybe I smoked too much pot back then, but I was certain he was there.
What a blast reading all the comments. I was also at both. 19 and 20 years old and as good a concert that I have still been to. I make documentaries for a living and am currently looking for any video or film footage of the event. If anyone you know had the home video rolling in the camping area, I’d love an intro. I’ve spoken to one of the promoters and even they agree it was one of the best events they have ever staged…to this day!! Anyway feel free to email me. Cheers Toddy
Just to clear up your question, as i have the program with me, Rodriguez played Friday night at Tanelorn and not Narara. The night consisted of Earthstar, No fixed address, Redgum, Rodriguez and N.Z. Spyz
for those interested Sat morning/arvo lineup was:
Eighty Eights, Dave McArtney and the Flamingoes, NZ Pop, Goldrush.
Sat night: The Church, Matt Finish, Max Merritt and Billy Thorpe (till about 3am from memory).
Sun morn/arvo: Un Taboo, Moving Pictures, Kevin Borich, SunnyBoys.
Sun Night: Men at Work, Mi Sex, Midnight Oil, Split Enz (their first song of the night was “hard act to follow” as the Oils went off big time) and lastly Broderick Smiths Big Combo (wow what a night that all was)
Monday morn: the mighty Newcastle Total Fire Band, Buswalkers (Bushwackers?? typo maybe) and Swanee. Dunno I didnt hang around for Monday so could someone clear that one up for me please?
So there ya have it.
Memories of Tanelorn – Too late arriving on Friday to see anyone huge traffic jam to get in. Washing in the river. Free Krishner food after the storm, queing for ice, I don’t remember much Saturday night. I remember the roadies having to lower the rigging to get Brod Smith off the stage. I thought Total Fire Band were really good. (I hadn’t heard of them before or after) I remember watching Swanee and some bird was doing cartwheels with out any knickers on which Swanne spend most of the set watching. The number of people I met who I knew but didn’t know they were going. Oh yeah and the alternative stage with a couple of old coppers tring to work orut some alt. dance that was on the stage.
I think I did the Monday doing Swanee FOH. I don’t know how you guys remember so much. I don’t!
I have big box of notes, itinerarys and diarys here somewhere and probably some photos from Tanelorn and Narara (FOH for Eurogliders). Haven’t looked at them for years. Must dig them out.
I realise you posted this seven years ago and it’s quite a long shot, but did you ever dig out your old itineraries? It would be great to add the information to the database at setlist.fm!
Please get in touch. Cheers,
I went to both concerts and nothing has ever compared to them
Mud, music, grog and girls!
I have a lot of photos taken at the concerts and must post them one day
great to read all the comments and thanks for the pics, brings back so many good memories. I travelled up with a mate on a bus from melbourne with fox fm and camped above the dam. We had the most amazing view and i can still picture it now! Definitly the best concert i went to. Please post more pics/videos on this site if possible.
jus talkn bout narara 83 xmas night 2010 to my 19 n 20 yr olds best time eva great music luv james reyne hot ars in his white jeans great acid weed everywhere bourbon smugld in sleepn bag 20litre casks wine saved us luv free enterprise should have a narara revival n do 83 again all oz no os at all who needs them
I too have been sharing Narara 83 stories with my kids recently. Who could ever forget that mud pit? As i recall we walked straight through the gates without paying…everything was so lax. I don’t remember a lot of details but I do remember I had THE best weekend I can ever remember.
I also was at Tanelorn and both 83 and 84 Narara’s and this thread brings back great memories.
I remember the 10 hour queue at Tanelorn in the car just to get through the front gates,and getting inside there wasn’t that much food available.And the dust!!! Great local bands like the Oils and Rodriguez from O/S – Sugar Man!!!
Narara 83 was brilliant, I too only got rid of my T Shirt a few years ago as the moths ate most of it, Gee I wish I still had it, what a great bragging point.
Also I still remember Narara 84 with Annie Lennox stripping down to that red bra and the brilliant David Byrne of Talking heads.I walked back to my tent that night to find someone had knocked out one of the ropes on my tent and had a river run through it with all the rain.Then later in the muddy carpark trying to push start my escort panelvan due to a flat battery.
I remember Tanelorn at Stroud – I was in the Armstrong’s Mobile recording Van out back – I distinctly remember the Oils doing an amazing set followed by Split Enz who opened with “Hard act to follow” 🙂
Was anything ever released from those recordings ?
I remember 83 ,rave on to to the kids they think I’m crazy ,love to see the aussie’s do it again ,can’t beleive there were so many there.
bloody good time,still got the flag i flew up the tree.
Just found two Narara ’83 T-Shirts..It was held on Australia Day Weekend,January 28-31st….was held Next Door to Old Sydney Town,Gosford..bit of a blur..
Went there with the band “The Church’ and had Car Access,Access All Areas…spent the time in the Huts out the back..it was very hot…
Lucky enough to be at side of stage for Radiatiors,The Church,INXS,Angels..was just getting on dusk..excellent show!!..
Then,had to get home,pack and fly out to New Zealand for the ‘Sweetwaters’ Festival.with the Church…they were on before Split Enz..someone thew a can at them,they walked off..I was at side of stage for that one as well…good friends..
The Church are still around,being inducted into the Wall of Fame..very under-rated at the time..thanks for the memory!!!…
I came her to check on a band called ‘Total Fire Band’ and found this..Regards,Lillian…xxx
Been reading this thread for years. My sister went out with a roadie from TFB about the time the keyboard player lost his leg. Must have seen that band 100 times. They were great. sis even has a tape somewhere of a live recording. Love to know what they are doing.
Narara ’83 was one of the best weekends of my life !
So many memories but one stands out. Chisel had just completed a true tour de force set, one of the best ever, and loud too !
Then the Tatts came on stage and Angry starts with “turn up the monitors, we’re a real f——g rock and roll band !” We had enough so we went back to our tent, probably 150m from the stage and when we lied down we could feel the Tatts music through the ground !! No bullshit.
Narara ’83 was held here, across the water from Old Sydney Town.
I have a t-shirt (somewhere), the SMH write up, and I’m pretty sure an old, old cassette tape with a radio doco JJJ did on the festival. I remember running around covered in mud, flying an Australian flag kite so high they made an announcement on stage asking us to reel it in because it was interfering with the helicopters, Austen Tayshus whipping up the crows in speedos, and Doug Mulray performing “I’m a punk” in a dress and a police cap.
crowd, not crows.
Wow what a blast finding this website and bringing back so many memories for me. I was there 83 & 84, in 83 we set our tent up on the Friday night and due to copious amounts of acid did not find it again the whole weekend. I remember sitting up on a hill tripping out with some mates and this guy that was off his face was walking through the crowd asking “has anyone seen a blue tent” we seen him again on the Monday morning still looking for his blue tent lol. I also remember that Old Sydney Town was across the lake and people pissing along the fence and yelling at the tourist lol. They were the best two concerts of my life and I will always have those memories. Talking Heads and INXS were the bands that stood out for me, bloody awesome.
yer awsm concert we drove there with heaps of bourbon port goon and acid and plyers cut through the fence evade sercurity who where stalking us n vanished into the croud and what a party triped out could never find our blue tent every tent i found had sighns up saying acid for sale crashed out in any tent i could find afta spending hours looking for mine wake up get bak on the acid and set out looking for all me mates agen bypassing thetoilet blocks where people were kiking over the porta loos while oldmate was in doing a shit thought id join in and next minute all wher joining in porta loose getting barreld left right n center awsum fun think we ended up leaving our blue tent there .i think im still triping from that concert first one was a heatwave secon one was a flood the mudmen ruled the first one they were awsum when they had the big water hole to swim in and someone drownd in there……/
I think that we were close to “Old Sydney Town”.I am
not even sure if that is still there. But you could see it from where we were camping.
No it’s closed to the public these days and only available as a movie set etc..do you have any pics from Narara Lee-Anne? My mate had heaps but has lost them over the tears 🙁
I have plenty of photos of both Narara’s and remember taking a lot of the Radiators, Goldrush etc.
What a great band Goldrush were! Tommy Emmanuel and his brother phil were just fantastic along with the rest of the band.
The Radiators were one of my favourites, plenty of great concerts down at the old Cronulla Workers Club (now apartments).
I met up with the Band backstage at the Tivoli Theatre in George St, City and showed them the shots from Narara and other concerts.
They thought they were great and ended up publishing some of them on their album ‘Scream of the Real’ back in the days of vinyl.
Once I locate the photos I’ll fill the sight up with lots of ‘good memories’.
P.S loved the comment above about the Tatts, can vouch for that 100%.
The ground verberated like an earthquake and our hearing was left in the mud of Narara!
That would be awesome Paul, seen the Rads and heaps of other great Aussie pub bands whilst growing up and living in Sydney. Miss those days!!
Paul…I dont think Goldrush played at the 84 event, I could be wrong, check it out…when Goldrush played Narara in 83 Tommy Emmanuel was not in the band…
would love to see the photos of the Radiators at 84….I lost my camera sometime before I got home….
Saw the Rads late last year and considering how long they’ve been going they were surprisingly good. If you get the chance go and see them, the illicit memories of youth come flooding back !
Old Cronulla workers remember it well ,seen the Angels at the Sylvainia pub in the late 70s,must have been about 50 or so people,great nite .
Denni last year with Barnsy & Chisel ,great w/end.
Hi all. Was going through my old desk and found both my Narara entry tickets! Also had one of the large advertising signs that were nailed to telegraph poles, but my old man chucked it about 20 years ago! I remember our tent from ’84. It was mentioned on stage by the comperes. It was a large 10 man job but the corner had rotted away and it was held together by plastic bags etc. If you tighetened the corner ropes the whole tent ripped more. It was the weirdest shape and fairly close to the stage hence people used it as a reference point. “Yeah just to the left of the shit tent”. At ’83 I remember watching the tattooist doing some bloke with a Narara ’83 tatt. They looked at me and said, how do you spell Narara?!! Classic. Great real bands and great memories.
Been reading this thread for years. I went to Tanelorn and both Nararas’ I remember seeing a poor sod rolling down the hill near the mud pit in a portaloo, Yuk. Guess what.? I just found the t shirt from 83. The one with all the band names on the back. I wish i had a Tanelorn shirt but instead I bought a sarong at that gig. Cant think why?
I have lots of pics of the Strange Tenants at Narara! What year would that have been?
Hi Di, I’d love to see those photo’s.
The only band list I have is the one in the article but I’m pretty sure there was two stages running. Possibly they played on the second stage.
Was there BOTH years! Pics would be great. I have many pics from an old camera but I have nfi where they’d be or if they survived umpteen moves in the last 27+ years!.
Hi, I was at all three, Tanelorn, Narara 83, 84. If i recall i remember being warned of a storm coming at tanelorn and jumping in a kombi with 3 girls and alot odf substances. After the storm i lost all my gear left there with only my pants, tee and one thong. Puts a smile on my face. Also if i recall right who can remember the huge full moon on the sat night in ’83 and walking around on sun morning in ’84 lokiing at tents half under water. Smiles
Tanelorn/Narara was the best ever, can’t be beaten, concert I went to with a group of mates. We had the tent and of course the necessary supplies. Lots of fun, laughs and mucking around. There for 3 days and rocked on. Great music, great people, great atmosphere. I was only 23. They don’t make them like that anymore and to be honest I couldn’t keep up with it now….but them were the times. I still talk about it today.
Still trying to locate promised photos from both Narara’s.
Like the other posting above by Thommo, after countless house changes over the years they remain buried in a box somewhere!
I definitely still have them as I used to do a lot of Rock Band Photography, working with Midnight Oil over a 5 year period along with the Radiators.
Those memories are priceless.
Will post them the day I chance upon them.
Does anyone remember Pat Drummond (one man band) playing on the smaller second stage at Narara?
Can’t remember which year.
He was a great solo artist and I used to see him play down at the ‘Rest’ Hotel in Milson’s Point – North Sydney until they demolished the original Pub.
I remember Pat Drummond. He was also a regular at the North Wollongong Hotel and me a few mates would go and see him whenever he was down this way. He was brilliant. I remember after seeing him for the first time, I immediately bought two of his albums that were on sale at the end of the gig. I also recall one of his gigs at the North ‘Gong when he brought his kids with him and they played Money For Nothing (I think) and the kid on guitar must have only been about 9 or 10 and absolutely nailed the intro!
I was a regular at the North Gong pub in Wollongong during the 80’s. Loved the packed house on a Sunday arvo especially seeing the Emmanuel brothers. They were legends playing “duelling banjos” from the movie Deliverance. I was also at Narara 84 and have posted a comment on the other page.
How do I upload photo’s I’ve got
Hi David, just send them over by email at firstname.lastname@example.org & I’ll make sure they are included here.
Thanks so much, Mark
I was Narara in 1983 and had a great time – we met the Cockroaches there and had not heard of them but went on to become fans – mainly went to see Mi-sex but the whole weekend was awesome
Is Narara 1983 the same concert that simple minds and the pretenders were at?
If so, is there a list of all acts available.
Was there – still etched in my memory
the one you are thinking of is Narara 1984 which you can read about here: https://australianmusichistory.com//narara-music-festival-1984/
I was a member of NORML and we had a stall at the first Narara. It’s all a haze (hahaha) now but I do remember that it was a buzz and I enjoyed myself totally. Met heaps of interesting people. It was something that happened in it’s time and can never be reproduced. I remember the call going out over loudspeakers that there was some ‘dirty’ acid about and for people to be careful! 90% of the people were off their faces in various ways but in happy ways. A great buzz a great memory. Alas, NORML hasn’t achieved much but hey, it’s the people, the personalities, the convictions of so many people as to their choice! Geeze, can’t believe so many years have passed and it’s still stalemate!
i have just been reading some the memories on this site, a recent chat with an old mate brought up Narara 83 and 84, he and i were both there but didnt know each other then, it was great to relive those memories talking to him, he mentioned there are site dedicated to these concerts, so i am, then i realised i had memorabilia and photos, i found my copy of the 83 programme along with the 84 sticker and entry ticket, thanks for the memories
I attended the 83 and 84 concerts, it was held beside Old Sydney Town, I remember looking into Old Sydney Town either from the concert site or from where I parked the car. Forty bands over four days. I still have my Narara t shirt. The second year there was a massive storm and the place got flooded out. Everyone just slid in the mud and had heaps of fun. Im not sure what concert, I think it was in 84 someone drowned in one of the dams, I didnt see it but it was well talked about by everyone. Just about everyone played there except Midnight Oil. There was a lot of bitching about international bands playing there but I remember seeing Death Leopard playing there. Talking Heads, Simple Minds, Pretenders, just to name a few.A lot of cars had to be towed out of the car park.
OMG what a great site ,by reading all the comments i am able to piece together some of what happened 83 and 84..still have my tickets,my best friend and i got a bus up there with a few parras that we meet we were from The Entrance, remember rolling a bottle of something up in a sleeping bag and throwing it over a fence ,,,people were injecting oranges and watermelons with all types of spirits…believe it or not Gonna were big then and i couldn’t wait to see them… as soon as they came on i took off down the front of the stage and jumped around like crazy…also remember people walking around yelling out GLOWIES 1DOLLAR TRIPS 10….REALLY WISH I COULD REMEMBER MORE… so if my kids ever read this don’t drink and do drugs it really stuffs your memories…lol..
I was at ’83 & ’84. I got a t shirt and singlet with a koala and a platypus mid session on the front. Can’t remember if i bought it during ’83 or ’84.
Pretenders were awesome in ’84.
Angels were the best in ’83. Was tripping over both years. lol
hey 83 red hot still got the t shirt bit small
Me my brother sister & good mate turned up at 83 with couple of cartoons & 5 bottles of spirits + other shit esky camp gear. They said no alchol allowed. Took cartoons back to car, then sat out in front of main gate & ettempted to drink the spirits . Drank one bottle in front of them & then came up with the Idea get rid of food in catainers & poored 4 bottles of spirits in food containers. walked up to pay put esky with spirits in on table with all camping gear on top, the bloke said I am not going threw all that shit go staight in. waisted all that food. I thought Richard claption on the Friday night put on one of the best shows. Doug Mullray I am a punk was fantastic Trying to find download of song.
Some mates & I came up from Melbourne for the 83 show & what an unbelievable long “weekend”. I have the Angels at Narara dvd, but unless my memory is really going, I’m sure they played longer on the night. A lot of gigs from the 80’s have blurred together in my mind now, so might be wrong. My recollection was also that Chisel played a VERY long set. Well over 2 hours… but again, maybe thats the memory playing up. Great to find your site… & its a real shame there wasn’t more music released from the festival (only the Angels set as far as I know) or that the festival doesn’t enjoy the same status as Sunbury does in Aussie Rock History.
hi guys. talking to my mate at work about great concerts and narara 84 came up .i went by myself because my mate got a colapsed lung the morning before we left from newcastle. i drove dow from wallsend found a park and carried all my tent ,esky sleeping bag , alhohol (hidden in the sleeping bag) and everything else we partied with back then. lol . the only thing they took of me was the cans of baked beens . the things i remember most was the raffles which everyone knows were onces of fun .but the most memorable thing was , other than evvveryone in thier wet suits slidding down the muddy slopeas into the stage was david byrne and taslking heads coming out one at a time and performing the songs . even though they were the over seas contingent they rocked .i think one of the reasons why it got cancelled after 84 was the guy who cut his arm of with the machete while cutting timber for his fire , the whole concerts both 83 and 84 were totally out of control and fun for all . i remember austantashis saying the cops are the pnes handing out mars bars . thanks for the memories
Wow – what memories from both ’83 and ’84. As a 20 year old we travelled on a special ‘concert bus’ run from Melbourne’s radio station EON FM. Easy to smuggle everything in. Although I remember getting a full on body search when we stepped off the bus. Luckily they weren’t interested in feeling the bottom of my legs _ where the booze was – but they certainly felt everywhere else! Memories of that mud puddle and the unisex showers. The fun, the music and the memories will stay with me forever. Unfortunately it could never be replicated in this day and age.
I went in ’83 after having my ticket paid for by the girlfriend’s old man – so I could be a bodyguard for his daughters! The crowd were all very happy after visiting the bikies dope selling tent. I do recall hours spent waiting to get in only to get to the gate and be sent away to another gate by a very harassed Michael Chugg who was screaming and had veins popping out of his head! All bands were great but the standout for me was The Radiators – INXS were a bit of a let down. Uncle Doug rocked, Austentayshus was big and the Angels went off also.
There was a dam up the back for “swimming” which was a liquid mud pit. The guy who drowned was a Canadian from memory. I have no idea how they found him in there… One thing nobody has mentioned was the showers – a huge open area surrounded by a long blue tarp and overhead pipes delivering a dribble – they could have been unisex – nobody cared.
My memories are clear because it was a 500m walk to get 2 plastic cups of beer and I gave up trying after a couple of trips. Wish I bought a t-Shirt.
Thanks for the website!
Hey Justin, if you happen to stumble across this page say g’day. 30 years eh? I remember having to drink our grog at the gate, Jon English doing a song I’d never heard called She Was Real in the rain was pretty cool..I remember MJ’s NORML stand…Angry screaming “get the monitors up”..the Angels of course…was Austentayshus the MC? The car wouldn’t start on Monday and we had to train it back to Sydney…thanks for the tent space whoever you were 😉
My 1st wife n I drove up from Adelaide. A blast of a weekend. Loved em all. Stinking hot 83. Had 2 queue for two to two n a half hours for ice for the esky. Trucked in from Sydney. Mrs didn’t wanna come down to front o stage sat night. Got back to tent. Collapsed. No sign o her. Some drunk had fallen on it n her. In tears we caught up. She was sitting in tent next door having beer with boys. So ironically funny but a worry at first. GREAT MEMORIES. WISH MORE CONCERT FOOTAGE O ALL BANDS WAS AVAILABLE . TOP JOB TO ALL PERFORMERS CREW N PROMOTERS WHO ORGANISED. WOULD O BEEN GOOD HAD THE OILS ALSO BEEN THERE IN 83.THANX
The whole concert was filmed. Hopefully, somewhere that footage is hidden in a vault somewhere.
Would be great to see a 40th anniversary DVD come out. Surely some of the aging artists need a few dollars by now.
does anyone know or remember the actual songs that were played by any of the bands ? im making a christmas cd for my dad.would be much appreciated
Wow. Hard to believe its coming up to 30 years since Narara 83. No wonder I can’t recall much of what went on. I do remember having a blast though. Me, my brother and our best mate drove up from Canberra, slept in the car the first night after arriving after dark. Great bands, great value for money. Someone mentioned the showers – they were an eye opener for a 17 year old.
I remember leaving comments on here years ago. I still enjoy reading other posts and reliving the memories. I thought that I would wish a “Happy Birthday/Anniversary. It is now 30 years since1983 and I still feel as lucky about attending as I did back then. Imagine if we had the technology back then that we have now. I guess we were lucky that we did not have all the stringent drug testing that goes on now. I am still wishing to contact a man called “Richard”, he flew a green plastic crocodile on his tent and he drove a green Monaro. How nice would it be to have a time machine and go back and take our kids and show them how we used to party. It is probably not too smart 🙂
Nice name! Same as my wife so I’m probably biased 🙂 Hope you run into Richard some day. I’m glad we didn’t have the technology back then Lee-Anne. I hate going to gigs now and being surrounded by half a dozen punters filming on their phones…
While I’m here…G’day to Half Pint. Good times
Tanelorn, Narara 83 & 84 was f…….great. I was the dood wearing a full motorcycle helmet in the rain mud mosh Narara 84… Didn’t someone drown in the Dam in 84 as a result of the plastic bottle throwing fight? I am now 45 years and still attending east coast festival, only now I provide coach tranport to the events… Gees its hard keeping the grog off the bus… In plastic bags and taped to bodies… doesn’t take much for a 15 or 16 year old to spew
A guy did drown in ’83, the water was so muddy it took quite some time to find him.
The Tanelorn facebook page is here:
I was at narara 1983. It was a great festival. There is no mention of The Kevin Borich Express in the line up who was, by his own admission, under the influence of some particularly enjoyable psychotropic, and despite this, put on an amazing show. I seem to remember a solo artist closing the Saturday night I think it was. I thought it was Rodriguez but that can’t be right. Anyone? Or maybe I was more under the influence than I remember, which is very likely.
went to both, can’t remember much…only know which bands were there because I have the t-shirts.
The first afternoon we got there (’83) the four of us set up the tent, then I approached the beer/wine tent where staff were filling cups non stop from 20 litre casks on the bar. When I finally got up front…I thought, bugger coming back here 20 times. Weren’t my tent mates surprised to see me return with a 20 litre? Someone slipped me a tab during Chisel’s set (well over 2 hours) and the Tatts afterwards were EPIC…I do volunteer stuff at festivals now but that was the all time greatest of them. Great sound, weather, crowd, no aggro. I still bore people with Narara stories to this day…
We bought a cask too! Drank it hot! Lol
hi i was at both 83 84 f—king unreal can you tell me the magazine that came out in 84 because my mate and i were on the front cover covered in mud and i think the cover said mud men from narara can anyone help me yea
so awesome! I’d forgotten all about Narara. Was to young 2 go so we snuck in & hid near the sailing ship. o 2 be young n free n crazy again! wot a lineup! Good times were had by all. even in the rain. No crazy drugs that kill u no senseless violence, just good old 80’s music. so so good. Wish I was there now. even the car park was a wild party
Was there in 84.was talked into working for a friends dad who had the orchy orange juice concession.got in for free,got paid,served all the happy punters for a couple of hours then was free to enjoy the amazing lineup.winning!remember chatting to chrissie from the pretenders in her top hat.great days.
I was there in 83 and 84, I went up on an organised EON FM/MMM camping trip and bus from Melbourne. Left my job to be able to go and went on my own in 83 and took my younger sister the second year. What a blast. The Dam was crazy, so much fun, I don’t remember any trouble, I do remember a lot of alcohol, great people and fantastic music.Talking heads borrowed the bus in 84 to tour around Sydney. I thought Def Leppard were great, bloody dangerous being onstage in torrential rain like it was. Black or green large plastic bags were being sold for a dollar or two to stop us being soaked to the skin, but the weather was warm from memory so the rain didnt cause that much discomfort. I had some photos somewhere from 83. I must hunt them down and send them thru for the page.
Narara 83, all the best aussie bands at that time, all trying to shine. I remember the Angels performance as I had never seen anyone so electrifying as ‘Doc’ was that night. They were all great in there own way, so enthusiastic. I remember a severe hangover one morning and the only thing that revived me was a dunking in the muddy dam.The night gigs were lovely under the stars and the crowd a mixture of bikies, music lovers were fairly well behaved. I was about 18 at the time and I drove up from Sydney in an old holden station wagon with a school friend.Memorable.
I was at 83.
3 mates and i in a small camper van. 18 years old with out a worry in the world.
Never forget the Angels under a full moon. God Bless ya Doc!!
84″ was the year, Talking Heads & Me with 3, yes 3 girls on my shoulders. David stopped mid song as the spotty turned on us. I apparently saw INXS but I don’t remember, I must have been at Narara
I was there! It was my 18th Birthday on 29 Jan 1983! Wow what a blast! We drank hot wine in the 40 degree heat and swam in the muddy dam! We were made of steel in those days! Slept on the ground and stayed up all night! Lol best concert ever! The Angels were absolutely mind blowing you can see there performance on YouTube!
Hi all. I was also at both 83 and 84 and still have my t-shirts and original 83 ticket. As for the line up in 83, there were 2 other bands who played but are not listed in your credits. They were Hitmen who played after Zarzoff Brothers and The Rude Band (uncle Doug) who played their song “I’m a Punk” after Dragon. Those were the days.
Thanks Bill, much appreciated.
I remember Doug doing I’m a Punk in a little dress, pink I think. After they’d finished he said DO YOU YOU WANNA HEAR MORE!! We all screamed “YEAHHH” He came back, “WE DON’T KNOW ANYMORE!” So they played I’m a Punk again. Damn, reading these posts is bringing back some really fond memories. I didn’t attend ’84 out of protest that it lost its Australian flavour, despite Talking Heads being someone I really wanted to see.
I remember being there both years. I travelled from down the south coast with some friends and we had a blast. I don’t think I have had that much fun since. Thanks for the memories.
Had a blast. would love to do it again
My father took me to narara 83. I was 10 years old. I remember having a great time. He put a big blanket on the ground with our things etc and that’s where we staying for the weekend lol. Hippy dad was awesome. No complaints 🙂 I still have our tickets
Yeah what a gig ..I put all the lighting together and packed it ..took 3 days .. Chris Simmons. at time working for Jands concert productions. .
Yeah what a gig ..I put all the lighting together and packed it ..took 3 days .. Chris Simmons. at time working for Jands concert productions. . CONTACT ..Chris email@example.com ..
Man Narara 83 was a blast. I remember arrive there Friday night in a Kombi with my girlfriend and her friend. Plenty of hidy holes for our grog in the van. The security guys were all pissed so only charged me for 2 people. I’ve never seen so many kombis in one spot. The van camping area was one big party. I remember great music hot days, passing empty coke bottles with money stuffed in the top thru the crowd to get them filled and passed back. Losing a small bag of pot and later finding a bigger bag on the ground. The mud men march. 1000 orange & blue tents. Partying dancing sleeping over and over again. The Angles & Chisel Tats shit they were good. The best part is I had a flat bed a sheet and pillow to go back to in the van. 43 bands in 4 days. I don’t think they could every repeat that again. Great memories
Just found this site so very late to the game. I was at Narara 83 & 84 as my family ran one of the food stalls there and my dad was on the organising committee.
I was a 12yo & 13yo when these were held and I still remember them. I even have my t-shirts and some of the original signage in storage back home in Oz.
What great memories…
Great concert, but i miss another great band that should have been there, Matt Finish. Anybody remember them? One of my favorite sydney bands of the time. Are there any other MF fans out there? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, cheers Frank
I have a Narara t shirt, does anyone know the famous artist that did the art work on the t shirt. I believe he lives in Melbourne.
Hi all. I was at the 83 festival remember being in th dam in one hell of a mud fight were old mate drowned. Tragic a. Remember nuding up an covering our selves in mud an running down to the main stage. Drunk an high. Lol.
Nara Ra Ra .What better memories are there ?Travelled from Albury for 83, did a U turn on Sydney Harbour at 7am Sat morn (I thought it was pretty cool and lucky there was no lick sticks then), and remember the kites of Aussie flags.they where hundreds of metres in the sky,was it Austen up on Main Stage after a request from Aviation that ask them to be hauled in?Oh and the music was 1st class… 84 we drove from Mackay and it was not until Newcastle I find out Talking Heads are playing at our Aussie Day celebrations. I still grin with dissappointment…And another 83 memorable sight was at the Top Gate in the Yard shed, it was lined with jars of Vegemite.No Glass…Still got my T.shirts and they fit…kinda.
I remember the Talking Heads, David Byrne stopped mid song. I was the guy with a girl on my shoulders, who had a girl on her shoulders, who had a girl on her shoulders. Stop making sense! I wish someone gotta pick of that
That was Narara 1984 if Talking heads was playing!
Hi all was at th 83 festival. The Angles wur on fire. Remember picking up a girl an we went back to my tent. Next morning she was gone an so was my walet. Didn’t care the music was unreal. Best weekend They should have a rock festerval every year.
Yeah, I went to Narara in 83. Was 18 and went with my two older brothers. Absolutely awesome few days. Remember the mud men n women, guys running around naked, a few women topless, covered in mud. The only bands I clearly recall playing were Chisel, Angels, Aussie Crawl, and Rose Tattoo. I do remember Austen tayshus and Rodney rude doing their routines. Drugs were being sold everywhere, and everyone was happy, no agro, great atmosphere. I have a few pics of mud men and the site. I can ask my brothers if they kept anything from the concert. One of the great Aussie rock concerts of all time. If anyone has more pics of Narara 83, it would be great to get them up on this webpage!
Wow! And, what a weekend it was! (I think) I remember there was a major water shortage. However, the thing that sticks in my mind about it is, there was not much violence. I don’t recall seeing any major fights. I do remember seeing some guy hanging upside-down in the barbed wire fence near the stage after getting his foot stuck while trying to scam his way in on the Saturday night. I remember the blood running down to his head and his girlfriend screaming to get him out.
I was there in 83 and loved it apart from someone stealing our esky full of food.We went to see Mi-sex and met some guys who were in a band we had never heard of but came to be fans of (The cockroaches).Great festival but a very hot weekend
Who remembers how much the tickets costed?
Hi Jeff. I was at the ’83 Narara concert and the tickets cost $35 + a booking fee of $1 if you bought them early. Best $36 I’ve ever spent. You could buy tickets at the gate but they cost $40 each, so you could actually save a little bit by lining up and getting them at the ticket sales. No online booking back then!
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Does anyone have the playlist from Narara 83
Trying to put it together for streaming.
Appreciate any help
A friend of mine mentioned seeing INXS at Narara the other day. Brought back a lot of memories. We were there in ’83. Someone organised a coach from Wollongong. Can’t remember who. We arrived on dusk with our tent and not much else. Food wasn’t a priority that’s for sure. I remember it was really hot and we were so thirsty. We managed to buy some coke but it did little to alleviate our thirst. All us girls showered naked together in some kind of hessian enclosure. On one of the days a plumber came in to unblock a pipe or something. I still remember the smile on his face!
I can’t believe I still have my Narara t-shirt. It’s yellow not blue and it’s tiny! We were skinny little things back then. I’ve got some photos somewhere too.
There was a drowning in the dam, but the 84 concert got torrential rain and it ended up being a huge mud pit. Tents got washed away and people deliberately slid in the mud for fun.
a fabby time. a 2 man tent and 3 of us, acid, mud baths, bikers, people breaking in thru the mesh fences, Rodney Dude, George Smeovitch and other comedians on an additonal stage. Then the train back to sydney, Tripping all the way. No police dogs. Great memories.
A great weekend. I drove in with my Kombi van (great decision) and the security guys took a quick look for glass and alcohol. Didn’t find 2 x cases of beer under the bed seat. At the entry there was a table of confiscated item like shot guns, riffles, machetes all labelled with names so you can pick them up on the way out. The security guys were shit faced and only charged us for 2 people but there were 3 of us. Arrived Friday night and partied on til Monday. Take me back to 83 anytime.
Hi Wayne, people don’t believe me when I tell this story as he was taken off the program list , or I cant see any mention apart from yours. Can you please tell me what year this was? I think it was the 1983 concert? Has to be the best few days of music in my life. Cheers,
I was 18 then and was lucky enough to work at the festival for Frontier.
Still have my t shirts and access passes.
What a weekend !
Went to Narara ’83 while travelling in your lovely country (from Canada) with my then girlfriend. Hitched down from Byron Bay I think. Got a ride with an ex Aussie Airforce guy who set us up with some weed. Drowning was tragic. The weekend was otherwise brilliant. Got to see all my favourite Aussie bands – Mentals, INXS, Men at Work Divynls. Thanks for the great times!
4 of us travelled on the highway that was packed and we drove the medium strip much to my horror to get there quicker, 1 tent, no food, a bong and pot….i got so sunburnt and filthy dirty….the mudmen, the tiny tents, the people and the music…i wish it could happen again….bring back the 80s.
My festival adventures started at Tanelorn out at Stroud Road. What an excellent time. Went there with my brother. We pitched a tent on Friday and lost each other until the Monday 🤣. Met some very generous people who fed me and supplied the chemical enhancements for 4 days. Took me a month to recover.
Next was Narara 83. I grew up in Gosford so it was a short trip for me. Went with a few mates. Wiped ourselves out again.
By the time Narara 84 came along I’d joined the military so life was a bit different. Went with a few mates and ended up in a scuffle. That along with the rain put a real downer on the weekend.
Above all Tanelorn was my favourite. Laid back, no coppers and bugger all security. No limit to the amount of grog you could take with you.
I’m in the UK now. Festivals are not the same any more. So controlled and restricted. Bring back the good old days when we sorted ourselves out without the authorities sticking their noses in.
Great to read all the comments and relive the memories. Thanks.
I have some flyers and a rider from Narara if there is some way to post them here.
The wildest weekend ever! I have a few pics if we can post them somewhere?
I still have both tickets from both concerts that I put in a frame. Was going to make T shirts with both on there
Hey Greg , I’d buy a t- shirt. I had a yellow Narara ‘83 t-shirt but I either lost it or someone pinched it. ‘83 was fantastic, didn’t go to ‘84.
Hi folks, I have such fond memories of this weekend. Does anyone remember Rodrigues being onstage and not able to perform. The crew took him off stage, it was so sad to witness. His name is not on the list of musicians. If anyone has photos they would be willing to share I would be delighted to see some….
It was 40 years ago today!!
I never went to Narara as I wasn’t given a backstage pass. I was way too important to be just a punter. I’m too important for those fools, I’m big time.