A host of local bands are going to kick-off a two-week festival aimed at strengthening community ties and the wellbeing of individuals in the wake of the Currowan fire.
The surrounding districts of Milton-Ulladulla were heavily impacted from late November through January by the monster blaze. More than 100 homes and structures were razed from Termeil to Yatte Yattah and Conjola Park and three lives were lost on New Year's Eve.
As part of the area's long road to recovery the Rotary Club of Milton-Ulladulla is organising the Phoenix Festival which will run from the first concert on April 11, through the school holidays ending Saturday, April 25.
About three months on from the fires, festival organiser Leonie Smith said it was important to try alleviate any sense of isolation while also continuing to build resilience and hope.
"Our regional community has been profoundly traumatised over this prolonged disaster and is currently grieving the loss of lives, homes, livelihoods and seemingly endless forest and wildlife," festival organiser Leonie Smith said.
Ms Smith said the Phoenix Festival intends to host family-friendly events while including many local organisations, clubs, sporting groups, businesses and venues as possible, ensuring participation from many community members of all ages.
"An important part of recovery involves community connectivity. Stress reduction interventions such as sporting and music events can strengthen resilience factors, healing after trauma," she said.
Another aspect of the two-week festival will be boosting the local economy. Many businesses have faced losses over the Christmas and school holiday period. The festival plans to use different venues across all affected areas.
"With funding from the Bushfire Community Resilience and Economic Recovery Fund, the committee will offset or pay in full, entertainment expenses for these businesses over the two-week festival."
Big Day In starts two-week festival
The first event of the Phoenix Festival will be the first concert to be held in the new auditorium at the Dunn Lewis Centre, Ulladulla.
'The Rise of the Phoenix' - Big Day In - will run from 10am to 10pm on Saturday, April 11. It is free of charge.
Bands, solo artists plus a myriad of other local performers will take the stage including Golden Guitar winner Matt Scullion, Chalkie White, Mojo Electric, Bosco Bosanac - Johnny Cash Tribute, David Cazalet as Elvis, Rockin Russ, Keen 4 Whatever (with Leone Rogers), Jimmy and the Fishheads, Tim Thomson, Gary Yates & Sophie Nowlan, The Milton Town Band, Ben Heggie & Lygiah Fowler and The Brags.
Layering over these performances will be StreetFeet Dance Academy, UPS Drumming group, Circus 35 Degrees South, local Artists and other creative performers.
All artists are proudly donating their time, Ms Smith said.
Alcohol and food available for sale. Any money made from the sale of donated goods, raffles, alcohol sales at the concert launch or any other means, by the Rotary Club of Milton-Ulladulla Inc, will go into a dedicated Rotary Club local Disaster Relief Fund.