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The Beat Festival

It's going to be a pretty surreal experience for year 11 singer songwriter Phoebe Wear to hear her music performed by more than 300 peers at this year’s Beat Festival.

By Tamara Howie

The young performer already has an NT Song of the Year Award under her belt, and was asked to write a song for this year’s annual youth showcase with the theme ‘Ignite’.

“I wanted to write a song that had a really deep meaning behind it,” she says.

“It’s about coming together and loving each other instead of fighting.”

Wear is usually on stage solo, with just her voice and a guitar, but at the Beat Festival a 300-strong choir and a 32-piece band with dancers will perform her song.

“It’s pretty unreal,” she laughs.

This year, Wear also has the honour of co-hosting the performances, staged over three nights with a rotating choir.

The annual festival is an institution in Darwin, with several generations of performers moving through the ranks, including Territory icon Jessica Mauboy, and up-and-coming talent Stevie Jean.

“I’ve been doing it since year seven. It’s really improved my stage performances and it really shows you what it’s like to be in the music industry,” Wear says.

“It’s also just such a fun experience and you get to meet a lot of the talent here in Darwin.”

NT Music School principal Bill Grose says students come from all cor-ners of the NT and it’s a powerful experience seeing so many young performers giving it their all.

“We have teachers from remote schools say they’re so proud of their students because they’ve managed to learn sophisticated songs in English when it may be their second language,” he says.

“It’s a real buzz at the Entertainment Centre to have so many people there.”

There will be pre-show entertainment which features bands and soloists from the talented pool of young performers.

Wed 12 – Fri 14 Sep | 7pm | Darwin Entertainment Centre | See the event listing

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