Dale from Ocean Grove discusses FULLY AMTD Festival

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Dale from Ocean Grove discusses FULLY AMTD Festival

Ocean Grove
Words by Lewis Noke Edwards

Ocean Grove themselves are no strangers to a lot of what FULLY AMTD is about: a good time, the reality of being a touring musician and the unstable state of the entertainment industry.

The inaugural fundraiser event presented by Australian nu- metal outfit, Ocean Grove, FULLY AMTD is a festival to support the industry.

The stacked line up also features Sydney’s Yours Truly, Brisbane’s rock group Young Lions, Aboriginal lead indie punk band Chasing Ghosts, cinematic rock outfit Hevenshe, Melbourne’s cosmic groove Squid Nebula and a DJ Afterparty Set by Adult Art Club. It will also feature guest speakers Richie Hardcore, Michelle Grace Hunder, Caleb Williams, Anne Jacobs and will take place on Friday 17 November at Melbourne Pavilion, Naarm/Melbourne.

Read up on all the latest features and columns here.

Ahead of the show we spoke to Ocean Grove singer, Dale, about planning the festival!

Dale, thanks for taking the time! For those who don’t know, who are  you and what do you do? 

Yo! I’m the lead singer of the band ‘Ocean Grove’, and we’re a nu-metal  outfit spawned from the south-east suburbs of Naarm/Melbourne.  

Where did the idea for FULLY AMTD come from? 

So, the AMTD part stands for ‘Aus Music T-shirt Day’ which happens every year in November, which is Aus Music Month. This is a day where  Aussie music lovers are encouraged to rep their favourite gig tee and  donate to Support Act, who are Australia’s music industry charity and do  amazing work providing crisis relief and mental health and wellbeing  support to anyone working in the music industry.

At the start of 2023 Support Act approached me to be an ambassador for Aus Music T-Shirt Day. I hit them back with the question:

‘Is there a live gig which is purely aimed at bringing everyone together on the day and raising money that way?’ to which they said: ‘No, not yet.’

So with their blessing, I made it  my mission to create something punters could do to support the cause  beyond posting a selfie and donating online. 

Can you share some of your own experience in receiving support  from Support Act? 

Back in 2020 I first leaned on Support Act when I was in a bit of strife. We were six months into the pandemic and I had no work. Gigs weren’t  happening, the cafe I worked at the time was shut. So Support Act was there to offer a crisis relief grant so I could at least pay rent whilst I found new work.

A couple years later, just after the pandemic was over, I hit clinical burnout which lead to severe anxiety, major depression, and even suicidal thoughts. All of which was completely new and foreign to me and I  was not in a good way.

Support Act have a 24/7 helpline (1800 959 500) which offered free mental health counselling when I needed it and they  were even able to support me financially when I sought out therapy and rehabilitation. They have truly been there to help whenever I have seen  my lowest lows, and I am so very grateful. This is a big reason why I’ve  created FULLY AMTD. 

What problems are you trying to solve in the music industry?  

A major aspect I hope to at least bring awareness to and healthy conversation around is the topic of mental health and the repercussions of alcohol, drug abuse and suicide that we see much too often in the music  industry when mental health worries go unchecked or remain hidden from view.

I think if we can normalise and remove the stigma around seeing a  therapist or even talking to your mates about some dark thoughts you  might be having, we can hopefully have fewer musicians, music workers  or anyone for that matter, suffering in silence.  

Why a music festival to raise money? 

Well I had never really heard of a non-profit festival before and I wanted to make it a thing! I think it’s important to bring people together in this format (especially after lockdowns) because a lot of what Ausmusic T-shirt Day and Support Act is about is healthy conversation around mental health and of course supporting Australian live music. All artists and crew are still  getting paid for this gig so it’s a win-win in my eyes. The industry gets  supported and so does the organisation that’s there to help it. I think a festival focused on raising money is a powerful way to remind people of  their love for live music, how fragile the industry’s eco-system is and why  we need to support and protect it.  

How has planning a festival been? 

It’s been hectic! I’ve never even put on my own local hardcore show, let alone a festival, so I was definitely biting off a bit to chew. I’ve been around live music most my life though, so it’s been pretty cool to be in the  driver’s seat and see how much work and planning it does take. I have that much more respect for anyone behind the scenes, who make the  shows and festivals I love, happen.

In OG [Ocean Grove], it’s never been much more planning on our end than choosing the bands we want to play with (the fun part), and then agents/managers/promoters handle the rest. All of a sudden I’ve found myself having to learn all those extra roles, and quickly!

I’ve learnt to never be shy in leaning on your friends and support network. So, pretty much all bands and guest speakers on this year’s lineup are  friends of mine, which feels really cool to be getting something off the  ground together as mates. 

How can people get behind the festival?  

There’s heaps of cool ways to get around FULLY AMTD. Obviously,  buying a ticket to the show is the main one here. But we’ll also have FA merch, raffle tickets, an auction on the night and Heaps Normal beers at  the bar. So everywhere you look, literally every dollar from any of these purchases I mentioned get’s donated to Support Act – and hopefully you  get something out of it too. Even for those who can’t attend on the night,  you can still enter the raffle online or donate directly via bit.ly/ FULLYAMTDDONATE.

For more info, to support or to buy tickets to the festival, keep reading here.