Yass locals and those travelling from near and far all gathered in Riverbank Park on Sunday, 12 March, to partake in the second instalment of Alive in the Park Music and Arts Festival.

The free, all-ages music festival run by Buena Vibra and organiser Keith Rosario, in conjunction with Yass Valley Council, got underway at midday with a Welcome to Country, before Sydney-based alternative rock band RedHook closed out the show at 10pm.

The headline act RedHook included Craig Wilkinson on guitar & sax who is Yass born and bred and went to Berinba and Yass High School.

Will Kepa, The Burley Griffin, Hope Wilkins, Smartcasual, Muesli, Jack Biilmann and The Black Tide all took centre stage, with penultimate act Citizen Kay really bringing the crowd to their feet with his modern rap.

Alive in the park 2023 L-R_ Danae, Mahalia, Luke, Leighton, Kasana, and Jack

A warm afternoon turned into a cool and windy autumn evening in Riverbank Park, but that didn’t keep the crowds away, with a strong crowd in their hundreds enjoying the music, market stalls, food and merch vans, and games and chill areas for the kids.

Families, kids and those just wanting to enjoy an afternoon of music converged on Riverbank Park, with The Times chatting to some locals, as well as the Caruana family who travelled from Wollongong just for Alive in the Park.

12-year-old Vincent Caruana and his family travelled from Wollongong on Sunday purely for the Alive in the Park festival, to see Vincent’s favourite band, RedHook, at his first-ever festival.

“My family and I travelled here today from Wollongong to see RedHook. I really like them. We didn’t go last year, this is my first concert,” Vincent said.

Belinda, Vincent, Anastasia and Michael Caruana.

“We arrived in Yass at around 4pm and we are heading straight home back to Wollongong tonight after the gig.

“I was excited to see a festival in general, I might start going to a few more after this.”

Citizen Kay rocking the crowd at Alive in the Park. Dog Ivy and Corrine and Wayde Chalmers. Jack Biilmann. Kat Frangiosa and Ryan Forlonge. EthanMay, Caitlin Stockwell, Nick Stockwell, Tabitha Wormald with dog Ned. Alison Elvin, Owen Whitaker and Tom, Erin and Jake Deery.Belinda, Vincent, Anastasia and Michael Caruana. Danae, Mahalia, Luke, Leighton, Kasana, and Jack. The crowds supporting the acts

Local Jake Deery, who also attended last year’s Alive in the Park gig, really enjoyed the festivities of the day.

“It’s very fun and seeing all the people around here is great. I went to Alive in the Park last year too and it was fun, just like this year,” Jake said.

“The music is good, but I just like being in the crowd and having a good time.”

The Times also caught up with Canberra-based band Jack Biilmann and The Black Tide following their set on Sunday evening, who were pumped to be performing.

“It’s a fantastic day out, honestly. Alive in the Park is great to play at and it’s a super cool stage. We love doing these community events where something is on and the whole town shows up,” Jack said.

“You get to be exposed to the whole community and you meet so many people at these types of events, so we’ll definitely be back in they’d have us.

“We got into Yass about midday, so we’ve been hanging around all day listening to bands and trying not to have too many beers.

“We’ll have a look around town and see where the wind blows us. We haven’t done anything together as a band in a good while, so we’ll use this opportunity to have a good time.

“We love going away together as a band and having a bit of fun in different towns.

“Thanks to the Yass community for having us, and we’ll be back as much as you want us.”

Jack Biilmann and The Black Tide are a band who have come together from a vary of places but have thrived as a band since joining together.

The band played a 45-minute set, consisting of one cover and a few new unreleased songs, as well as a lot of their old songs.

“I’m from Pambula Beach and also have some background in the Snowy Mountains, Joel’s from Port Macquarie, Pat is Canberran and Johno’s from Orange. We all now reside in Canberra and that works really well for us,” Jack continued.

Alive in the park 2023 Jack Biilmann

“We played a lot of our bluesy, rock and roll type songs, which always seems to be well received by the crowd.

“My last album, Full Circle, was released in 2021, with the new album coming out this year. Half of it is recorded in a high-country church in solo mode. That will come out later in the year, with the first single this or next month.”

Well done to the organisers of Alive in the Park 2023, as well as Yass Valley Council and the community for supporting such a wonderful, inclusive festival.

Tim Warren