The Melrose Music Muster originated from a number of past events and was born out of the ashes of the catasrophic Bangor Bush Fire. For many decades I (Anton Lunstedt) travelled through the beautiful Flinders Ranges on personal
trips and as a tour guide bringing international tourists through the region. Having developed a relationship with the area over the years, I have always seen Melrose as a fantastic location to just visit and to relax. I could see what a beautiful environment
it would be to host an event of some kind.
For many years the Hillbilly Hoot group of Adelaide musicians who play regularily on 3DDD Radio on Monday nights in Adelaide would have an annual camp out in Pekina, a nearby township
to Melrose. The only road was blocked off and some Adelaide petonque clubs would camp around town and have a competition over the week end, the musicians would put on the fabulous HillBilly Hoot Show on the pub verandah. Some of the locals would arrive to
see the show, I would get up there every year for a great week end in the Southern Flinders Ranges. The Pekina week end no longer continues. I have since moved and live in the Southern Flinders Ranges now.
A couple of summers
ago the Southern Flinders Ranges experienced the one in a hundred year catastrophic Bangor Bushfire, the fire decimated the farm, forest and bushland country and many properties were damaged and several homes lost. The fire began early mid January the 11th
i think? It burnt out of control for a month followed by damaging floods and officially ended in April the end of the bush fire season. There was an overwhelming feeling in the region and beyond, many people including myself wanted to help the bushfire effort
some how to support the victims of the fire, the community and thank the fire fighters for their relentless hard work.
I am friends and in contact with Terry Bradford a founder of the HillBilly Hoot and the terrific Adelaide
based country music band the "Texettes". I kept Terry posted on the bush fire and its deterioration as the fire blew out of control and decimated the area. It was at this point we felt the need to do something to support the community with the bush fire effort.
With Terry Bradfords and the "Texettes" imediate support i set out to organise the Bangor Bush Fire Relief Concert. We secured a great line up of wonderful musicians/acts who donated their talents to the cause. With the support of the Wirrabara progress association
and many other individuals from the community we had a fantastic concert that went down a treat enjoyed by all, bringing the community together after such and epic disaster and went to raise nearly $60,000 to help those that lost their homes in the fire.
( The Bangor Bushfire Relief Concert recieved an Australia day award for a regional event in 2015. A documentary 'After the Fire" was produced by Terry Bradford and screened to audiences through out the region about these events,
copies can be purchased for $25 at firstname.lastname@example.org )
It was from this point many people and musicians, local and from afar voiced the idea of having a regular music event in the region. There had been music events
held in the area in the past but no longer occurring, the idea to establish another music event was already being cultivated. Having visited the Melrose museum i viewed snipets of the music history which was motivational. Melrose is nestled below Mt Remarkable
and has had an association with arts and cultural activities from the time of European settlement and very likely the indigenous peoples have practiced cultural activities in the area long before European settlement.
Terry Bradford to Melrose for a beer, we sat at the top pub looking down the main street. We shared some ideas about having a musical event in Melrose, Terry & The Texettes gave me their support again and the Melrose Music Muster was born.
I proceeded to establish a community based music event. I put the word out to musicians and the response was overwhelming! What was originally going to be a one night event blew out to a three
day and three night week end of continuous music from the out set with 40 acts appearing in the first year amateurs and professionals alike, the vibe was very special. The first year took a great deal of time and energy and expense to organise, I have since
established a small non for profit community group to run, develope and manage the Melrose Music Muster in the hope to hold the event on an annual basis.