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Aus rock royalty joins festival board

By Kate Lockyer

A self-described “kid in a candy shop” when it comes to music, not to mention three-time ARIA award winner, has joined the Teneriffe Festival board for 2024.

Sarah McLeod, frontwoman of Aussie rock band The Superjesus and Teneriffe local, said her involvement has come about because she is “over-passionate” about her neighbourhood.

She first came across the festival when she moved to the area a few years ago and played a solo acoustic set there, and said it was unreal that the festival was right there in Teneriffe.

After seeing the increased support for the festival over the next few years, Ms McLeod said she started thinking: “I wonder where this is going next, because I’m watching this very speedy, rocket-like ascension to a different level.”

After a chance encounter at Harvey’s on James Street with Michael Wilkins, Teneriffe Festival Chairman, McLeod sat down with him and board partner Matt Trewhella to share her ideas for the festival.

A love of trying new things and experimentation has kept McLeod passionate about music, from her rock days with The Superjesus, to a stint touring with Shake & Stir in a theatre production of Jane Eyre, to her current project recording a “dreamy electro” solo album. 

She said when she hears a new piece of music, she is “like a kid in a candy store” wanting to learn more about it. 

McLeod’s decades of experience in the Australian music industry and playing festivals lends her a unique perspective as a festival organiser.  

The Teneriffe Festival is supported with musical programming by Cael Johnston from The Fortitude Music Hall and The Triffid, giving artists a local platform for their music.

“Festivals are a great opportunity for artists because they get to be in front of an audience that might not necessarily go see them if they were just doing their own show, because it’s a collective audience,” McLeod said.

When asked about her vision for the festival this year, McLeod said cryptically: “Let’s just say, there’s something for everyone.”

“…We’re looking for eclectic things, we’re looking for local things, and we’re looking for things to spark people’s imagination, and interactive things as well.”

“The next Teneriffe Festival is going to be bigger, better and more streamlined than before, and if you enjoyed the last one, you’re going to love this one.”

The 2024 Teneriffe Festival will be held on May 25.

Photo caption: Michael Wilkins and Sarah McLeod outside Teneriffe watering hole Dalgety 2.0

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