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Kakadu Grooves!

05 August 2014

Kakadu Groove lived up to its name on Saturday 19 July with laid-back tunes and a chill day out in the park. Richard Grace, upright bass player with Tracey Bunn's band, gets into the groove. Kakadu Groove lived up to its name on Saturday 19 July with laid-back tunes and a chill day out in the park. Richard Grace, upright bass player with Tracey Bunn's band, gets into the groove.

AS the orange tropical sun set across the lake, the only sounds to rival the country pop, jazz and blues musicians on stage were the shouts and laughter of kids enjoying a great afternoon out in the park. Lake Jabiru was the perfect venue for what turned out to be wonderful, relaxing afternoon and evening of laid-back tunes, art, food, and market stalls.

In fact, the inaugural Kakadu Groove on Saturday 19 July was such a success that the organising committee is already at work planning next year’s show. One of the organisers, Steve Winderlich, who also MC’d the event, at one point asked the crowd if they would like to see an event like this again. The answer from the crowd was a resounding YES!

Kakadu Groove showed what can happen when the community pulls together to make its own fun. Musicians came out of the woodwork, stallholders brought arts and crafts along for sale, families brought picnic blankets and a few drinks, the Jabiru firies cooked up buffalo hamburgers, and there were cheese platters to go around, plus home-made curries, and glow sticks for the kids.  

Children’s Ground were selling art from local families, while Injalak Arts and Crafts came from Gunbalanya with a fabulous range of fabrics, cushions, artworks, bags and cushions. Sarah Martin Design displayed a range of handmade jewellery, screen printed cushions, baskets and bags, and the Alligator Fishing Club were there selling raffle tickets for this year’s boat. The Kakadu Groove Committee had sausages, buffalo burgers, and cheese platters available, which helped cover the cost of the show, while Perlin Simon had a great range of curries and pulled pork with rice. J.U.I.C.E. were selling a trio of home-made dips and glow-in-the-dark toys for the kids. Not only did this contribute to the success of the night, but it also raised money towards the purchase of a new 16.5 metre inflatable obstacle course for the Jabiru town pool. The food stalls proved very popular, with most vendors selling out by the end of the evening.

Jabiru's singing policewoman, Linda Sayers, got the ball rolling with a themed set of love songs before the Kakadu Crew took the stage. Having scored a hit at the Jabiru’s Got Talent show at the school fair, Sebastian, Daniel and Nathaniel entertained the crowds with their rendition of the Justice Crew hit, Que Sera. Steve Winderlich and his collection of musicians, known in this incarnation as TBA, provided an eclectic soundtrack to wile away the sunny afternoon. After having put in a brief appearance busking at Jabiru Plaza earlier in the day, Perth-based musician Ivan Zar plugged in his brass-bodied Dobro just before sunset, bringing his brand of slide guitar blues to the Territory for the first time.

Headline act Tracey Bunn did not disappoint, with excellent musicianship and heartfelt tunes rounding out the evening’s entertainment. For their part, the 250-strong crowd were well behaved, happy to relax and enjoy the free entertainment and convivial atmosphere. Security guards reported no incidents, and on Sunday morning the grounds of the park were pretty much spic’n’span.

The event would not have been possible without the efforts of the committee and the volunteers (you know who you are) with sound equipment supplied by West Arnhem College and Jabiru Police. Special mention should go to sound engineer Stu Whitby from Jabiru Area School, who showed great dedication by camping out at the park as security after setting up the rigging and light show on Friday. Thanks also to Blueridge Engineering, ERA, Spotless, Bowali Visitors Centre and the officers and volunteers from the Jabiru Fire Station. Congratulations to raffle prize winners Johnno from Kakadu Contracting, ERA Contractor Jeffrey, Leigh Sloane from Jabiru Health Clinic, Muzza’s team at the Jabiru Golf Club, and Rene’e Masa from Kakadu Bakery.