In heart and harmony | Strings Attached WA Guitar Festival

From little things, big things grow.

Not only an iconic line from an even more iconic Australian song, the words echo the sentiments of the Strings Attached WA Guitar Festival Director and Margaret River local, Dan White.

"I'm so amazed by the immense positive response we've received so far towards the festival," White told the Mail ahead of the October 11 launch of the inaugural festival.

"From an idea, it has grown into a three day festival at over 20 venues, featuring 60 plus artists and nearly 30 exhibitors, and we're looking forward to building this event into one of the "must see's" on the already impressive Margaret River calendar."

White said while the programme boasted a long list of local, WA and interstate musicians and industry experts, the festival was designed to cater to everyone.

"I'd really like to see this festival have an ongoing positive effect on the local creative industries, local economy and community; it really is meant to be an event for young and old which is inclusive and offers up benefits to everyone who gets involved," he said.

The festival will run from October 11 to October 13, with the new Margaret River HEART entertainment venue providing multiple spaces for concerts, exhibitions and casual live music across the weekend.

At the official opening event, a Welcome to Country will be offered by Wadandi custodians in the impressive new HEART foyer gallery space. The Main Exhibition is open to the public all weekend, while live music from local acts including Kiera Jas, Blackwood Morris and The Moody Cows will feature at the new Sound Shell outdoor performance space.

Dan White and Scott Wise at the newly constructed Margaret River HEART, where the first ever Strings Attached Guitar Festival will launch on October 11.

Dan White and Scott Wise at the newly constructed Margaret River HEART, where the first ever Strings Attached Guitar Festival will launch on October 11.

[The HEART venue is] looking world class and I'm really excited for the local community and festival goers from all around the state to enjoy this amazing new space on its opening weekend.

Dan White, Festival Director

"[The HEART venue is] looking world class and I'm really excited for the local community and festival goers from all around the state to enjoy this amazing new space on its opening weekend," said White.

"We've condensed exhibitions, performances and masterclasses over the weekend, and it really is looking to be the perfect venue for this event, capable of handling the huge program we're putting on and more.

"The festival team feels extremely lucky to be putting on the first major event using the entire facility."

Playing guitars since 1968, repairing them for fifty years and building them for forty years, there are few people in the region who could boast such a varied and extensive knowledge of the instruments than Margaret River's own Scott Wise.

An award winning and highly sought after luthier and musician, Strings Attached patron Wise said the festival was curated with the community in mind.

"I have been to guitar festivals, luthiers' conventions, museums, trade shows and exhibitions all over the world," Wise said.

The crew behind the inaugural Strings Attached WA Guitar Festival. Photos: Nicky Lefebvre

The crew behind the inaugural Strings Attached WA Guitar Festival. Photos: Nicky Lefebvre

"In The WA Guitar Festival I wanted to bring together the best of all of these events to give something to everyone who attends.

"For the audiences some of the best in guitar playing, for the makers, some connection with other makers and what guitar players like and need in their instruments, for the players and the public alike, a deeper knowledge of the instrument - it's history, diversity, design and all the possibilities of innovation which come from interaction with makers.

"Then there's the outreach to the youth and beginners in the masterclasses and workshops, both in classical guitar, metal, blues, jazz, production techniques, songwriting and the list goes on... great artists giving their knowledge.

"This festival will give people a unique experience which they won't find anywhere else, from the very exclusive combination of all these factors."

Wise said there were a number of unique, unmissable moments during the festival.

"Being both a musician and luthier I am looking forward to seeing the whole event come together as we have visualised, in Margaret River's wonderful facilities," he said. "One of the things I am personally very happy about is that people have the chance to hear one of the great artists of our time, Stephen Pigram from Broome.

"Stephen is a superb, poetic songwriter and truly great guitar player. He had his start in country blues, close to my heart, and he accompanies himself beautifully on fingerstyle guitar.

"He's never played solo in our town before but has come close a few times. A couple of his songs heard live is as good as it gets for me."

Dan White agrees, telling the Mail that he was also keen to check out as many of the masterclasses and live performances as he could.

"I'm really excited about how many different opportunities there are for festival goers to not only enjoy incredible music from around the world right here in Margaret River, but how many of those artists are also offering workshops and masterclasses to allow their audiences opportunities to learn from the best and gain deeper insight into how the professioonals do what they do.

"I'm also really looking forward to checking out the exhibitions of guitars, pedals, amps, tools, art and more from around the country and abroad, something that hasn't really been done like this before here in WA.

"This is a festival not just for players and makers, but for lovers and enthusiasts of stringed instruments and good music in general."

For the full Strings Attached programme and tickets, visit www.stringsattachedfestival.com.au