Young stars on stage at Inland Sea of Sound

Great Show: Gabby Bolt performing at Inland Sea of Sound last year as part of the LEAP program. Photo: SUPPLIED
Great Show: Gabby Bolt performing at Inland Sea of Sound last year as part of the LEAP program. Photo: SUPPLIED

I think back 20 years ago and there just wasn’t much of a live music scene in Bathurst to speak of, not even the obligatory acoustic duo in a pub set-up. But how times have changed.

Bathurst has embraced live music to a degree that even inner city Sydney would be envious these days.

And we seem especially keen on supporting live local acts, be it album covers nights (the big trend of 2017) or launching the careers of singer-songwriters.

One big contributor to this scene in recent years has been the Local Emerging Artist Program (LEAP) that runs in the lead up to Inland Sea of Sound Festival.

An initiative of Bathurst Regional Council (led by Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre), it provides professional development and showcasing opportunities for young people with training and then gigs in local venues with some going on to perform at Inland Sea of Sound itself.

Now in its fifth year, LEAP in 2017 will be sponsored by the Bathurst RSL Club for the first time.

Musicians aged between 13 and 25 are invited to become part of the program and showcase their talents at the LEAP launch at the RSL in October.

The program includes a workshop Tuesday, September 26 at BMEC followed by auditions on Friday, September 29.

Local performers Sophie Jones and Abby Smith from Smith & Jones will be on hand to assist young people prepare for auditions and gigs. 

“LEAP is a wonderful opportunity for up and coming artists to gain new skills in live performances and increase their exposure within the community,” council’s director of cultural and community services Alan Cattermole said.

To be involved in this year’s program, send your name, style of music and age to

Applications close on Wednesday, September 20.

Open-mic chance

ARTS OutWest is looking for Aboriginal artists to play a couple of tunes on the open-mic stage at the Jimmy Little Gathering on Saturday, September 23..

For more information, go to or phone 6338 4657.

Art outdoors

SUPPORTERS of the local arts community can enjoy the sunshine at Bathurst Artisan Market this Saturday, September 16 from 9am-1pm on the Bathurst Library Forecourt.

Or how about taking your art making to Machattie Park for the free monthly Art in the Park on Sunday from 2pm-4pm?