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Wow, it’s been a wild six-month ride to get to the Sky Ball.

Testimate to the mighty Pie in the Sky, Dashville has held on, riding the rollercoaster all the way through to today, where we can finally be proud to share with you the full program and playing times for Sky Ball kicking off from next weekend.

And somehow through the fog of the unknown, Dashville has managed to include more acts, more concerts and more tickets for what has now become a seated Covid-safe five-concert series for Sky Ball!  While the Sky Ball will look different to previous Dashville events in that there will be one single stage, folks can enjoy the performances within their own separate seated ‘party pen’ (holding groups of up to 10).

Sky Ball will roll a second weekend, on the 9th and 10th October.

Another two concerts have been added to the Sky Ball concert series, creating an overflowing cup of 4 local and regional NSW acts performing each night – over a series of 5 nights, across two weekends.

Artists included to the series line up include the heavy blues trio Chase The Sun, local Americana songwriter James Thomson, emerging soul diva Georgie Jones and a very special all-female project put together by the amazing Gleny Rae, titled ‘The Darlings of Dashville Show’.

Session 1 – 2nd October
Kim Churchill / Eagle & the Wolf / Dave Favours & The Roadside Ashes / Lachlan X. Morris

Session 2 – 3rd October
William Crighton / Fanny Lumsden / Justin Ngariki & The Dastardly Bastards / Corey Legge

Session 3 – 4th October
Catherine Britt / Chase The Sun / Ben Leece & Left Of The Dial / CJ Stranger

Session 4 – 9th October
Gleny Rae’s Darlings Of Dashville / Dave Wells / Johnston City / Georgie Jones

Session 5 – 10th October
Dashville Progress Society / Andy Nelson / James Thomson / Hedy Blaazer

Wow, how did this all happen you say?
Without going into it too much, let’s just say that due to a minor update in the wording on the NSW Government Public Health Order, where as of Sept 11, it now mentions that music festivals ‘attended by less than 2000 people’ are illegal. We had to prove to the local authority that Sky Ball was indeed a concert series and not operating as a music festival.

Of the significant hurdles imposed by the government’s current legislation on the music industry, the biggest one is the fact that you need to be a ‘concert’ and a ‘concert’ can not have more than 4 acts or go for any longer than 5 hours. Any more than 4 acts in succession is not a concert, and even if it’s not a music festival by definition, it basically is a music festival and is illegal regardless of how many people attend. 

On the same weekend as Sky Ball, if you live within earshot, you’re likely to hear the 40,000 or so people at ANZ stadium, screaming away for their favourite football team.

So yes please rest easy music lovers, safe in the knowledge that after 5hrs of listening to live music, you won’t catch COVID off the gum trees, because funnily enough 4hrs and 59mins is the exact period of germination.

Despite the live music restrictions imposed by government legislation, you can still come and camp for 3 days, walk the bush, visit the vineyards, hang by your camp, busk under a gum tree. The prestigious Swoop Inn and Bird Bath Bar will be open breakfast, lunch and tea.

So the choice is yours, just make sure you’re front and centre when the music kicks off at 6pm.

With limited tickets still available, we’d love for you to join us if you can!

Whilst the large outdoor concert held at Dashville will only feature a small audience of around 250 people socially distanced, an additional component for punters to get excited about is the huge online component known as Sky Ball TV, which will feature all the artists performing, via a pay to view streaming concert series kicking off on Saturday 3rd October, running for the month of October.  Click here for details.


Here in Australia, whilst the situation remains relatively steady in NSW, the hard working team at Dashville, an outdoor venue based at Belford in the Hunter Valley, hit hard by the sudden closure, have kept their chin up and are working through this devastating period with valor.

In the thick of huge financial loss and uncertainty, the predominantly husband and wife team have successfully produced a series of small open air concerts for around 150 people (Dashville Nights), utilising a party pen‘ model that Event Producer Magpie Johnston, intrinsically came up with by himself.

‘When we were looking into the requirements of hosting a COVID Safe event, it was June and we were trying to work out how to lay it out. Wondering how the dynamic would work if people couldn’t hang by the fire. So in a sensible brain snap, we decided to give everyone their own small fire basket to sit by and that’s essentially how our now famous ‘party pen’ model started.’

With the success of Dashville Nights, came the vision for how to host the very special one off Sky Ball, a 3 day concert series that had been scheduled for the October Long Weekend. 2-4 October 2020.

The Sky Ball was created in haste as a recovery plan back in March when The Gum Ball was first cancelled. Information about the event has remained relatively dormant throughout winter as the situation with COVID unfolded. Now 2 weeks out, with an achievable vision in mind, it has evolved into a exciting concert series, with an amazing line up or local and regional NSW artists ready to converge on the property.

The title of the event is a testament to the two mighty Dashville festivals that never happened in 2020, The Gum Ball and Dashville Skyline. But the event itself is designed to be a sign of hope for a struggling industry battling to stay afloat amidst the COVID pandemic.


SKY BALL runs 2, 3, 4 and 9, 10 October 2020.

SKY BALL TV is a pay-to-view streamed event, happening via the internet from Saturday 3rd October 2020.   

Head to Dashville for more info.

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