A surfing great drops in the tunes

Australian surfing legend Wayne 'Rabbit' Bartholomew is bringing the Drop Festival to Busselton coniciding with the WSL Margaret River Pro. Image supplied.
Australian surfing legend Wayne 'Rabbit' Bartholomew is bringing the Drop Festival to Busselton coniciding with the WSL Margaret River Pro. Image supplied.

Australian surfing legend Wayne 'Rabbit' Bartholomew is about to drop the tunes in Busselton as part of this year's Drop Festival coinciding with the World Surf League's Margaret River Pro.

Bartholomew won the World Surfing Championship in 1978, the ASP world masters in 1999 and was crowned world grand master in 2003.

The Queensland surfer first came to the region in 1973 when he drove across the Nullabor in search of Yallingup and Margaret River's big breaks.

"It is just so raw in the South West, it was the most memorable trip, it was in May when we got there and the waves were huge," he said.

"Everything was raw, wild and huge, it was like wilderness surfing, we were actually the only caravan at the Yallingup Caravan Park.

"We got hit by a big storm one night and the caravan got moved from one side of the park to the other, it was batten down the hatches.

"When we got up in the morning the surf was about 15-foot it was unbelievable and a big adventure, we were surfing all these amazing breaks without leg ropes.

"Two guys over there really inspired me, one was George Simpson and the other was Ian Cairns."

The Drop Festival came about through a collaboration with Bartholomew and his partners Andy Rigby and Ken O'Brien who are experienced event organisers.

"I came from a place when back in the 70's and 80's there was just so much live music and great pub bands played nearly every night of the week," he said.

"Australian music was really coming to the fore, back then there was Midnight Oil, INXS, and the Hoodoo Gurus - it was just incredible - it was wild."

Bartholomew said surfing and music ran a parallel course in popular culture and they were such a natural fit.

"We have the dream tour, championship tour and other huge events in Australia, why not have a great day just for the fans who are surfing and music lovers," he said.

"It is a great day of surfing followed by an incredible night of live music with some of the best artists in Australia."

The Drop Festival takes place at Barnard Park in Busselton on Saturday, June 1, tickets are available at thedropfestival.com/busselton-wa.

Artisits include Angus and Julia Stone, Client Liaison, Hockey Dad, The Jungle Giants, Alex the Astronaut and Unearthed winner ASKYA.

"It is about kids having fun and having a blast to enjoy themselves in a really fun atmosphere," he said.

"Coming into June the weather can be a big factor it gets pretty wild down there in the South West, we have catered for the weather factor which will make it more intimate in some respects too," he said.

"It is going to be mega fun and so far the events have proven to be really successful, we had sell outs in Coolangatta, Snapper Rocks and Torquay."