New music festival for Blackbutt Forest in the Illawarra

A new summer music festival will be held in Illawarra’s largest natural bush reserve.

Up to 3500 festival goers are expected to head to Blackbutt Forest Reserve in December for the inaugural Hidden Forest festival.

The festival is being organised by the Shellharbour City Council events team, with a development application currently before council.

“The reserve is a key feature of Shellharbour and is the last remaining viable remnant of coastal plain forest in the Illawarra,” the application stated.

“The reserve is also known as an active recreational precinct and has played host to cultural festivals, arts events and other activations.”

Around 22 artists will perform at the festival including six “mid-scale Australian music acts”.

“The event is light hearted, fun, aimed at families, and seeks to enliven and invigorate the public domain,” the application stated.

“It is a proposed to be a small to medium scale event with an expected capacity of 3,500.

“The overall aims of the festival are to promote and activate the natural beauty and assets of Shellharbour City.”

The Hidden Forest is one of several events grouped under the broader Shellharbour Surf n Skate Festival, with hopes it will become a “destination event”.