Out Of Bounds Music Festival 2020 Debut Hopes To Encourage Live Music Culture In Western Sydney

I OH YOU Record Label Founder Johann Ponniah is a man on a mission. The young promoter is proud to present a new music festival called Out of Bounds with the initiative to bring live music to the younger communities of Western Sydney, a place that is predominately absent from other areas used to showcase Australian live music.

I Oh You, Founder Johann Ponniah. Photo Credit: Purple Sneakers

Abit of backstory about Johann

Johann Ponniah is known to be a risk taker and innovator.

After throwing a house party in his backyard to raise funds for an overdue gas bill in December 2009, Johann Ponniah started throwing regular warehouse parties to cover further overdue bills and eventually forming indie record label I OH YOU Records.

In the video below Ponniah details his beginnings of getting into the music industry. Where he decided at the age of 18, finishing high school he would move to Melbourne and intern at a management company, working 40 hour weeks, earning $150 a week and sleeping with a cat on a couch.

Interviewed by Purple Sneakers on what the main role for the record label is, Ponniah said in his own words,

“I don’t know if there’s a typical role for a label as such, it would differ for each label. For us, the idea of our label was always to be a support system for the artist that we love.”

I Oh You has grown to be one of Australia’s successful indie record labels, with notable Aussie bands such as Violent Soho, DMA’s, and DZ Deathrays signed under the label. I Oh You hopes to continue promote the diverse range of Australian music.


What Out Of Bounds Festival Hopes To Achieve In 2020

What’s next for Johann is his ambitious plan to promote live music to a place where he grew up as a kid, in Western Sydney’s Campbelltown. To him, Johann confesses that live music isn’t the first thing to come to mind when Western Sydney is mentioned.

So are there any venues between Parramatta and Penrith that have live music?

Posted by Western Sydney Live Music Scene on Wednesday, 2 December 2015


“Campbelltown is a great place to grow up to be honest, it just doesn’t get a lot of music out there,” Johann Ponniah told SBS, The Feed.

There’s a nostalgic relevance to Johann and that’s exactly what the I Oh You founder is trying to achieve in his newest venture by debuting the festival at the Campbelltown’s Athletics  Centre. The one day festival aims to appeal to a younger audience of the Western Sydney region.  The line up is diverse and solid, and will be headlined by The Rubens, Illy, DZ Deathrays, WAAX and Mallrat. Other local musicians joining the line up is R&B/Hip Hop musician Jessica Jade hailing from South West of Sydney.

Out Of Bounds Festival

In hoping that the Out of Bounds festival in Campbelltown is a success, it is only just the initial start for Ponniah plans.

In a prevalent time where the NSW Liberal government has not taken live music profoundly well, Ponniah understands the significance of working together with the local government will ensure the success and longevity of Out Of Bounds.

According to Partae magazine, Mayor of Campbelltown Cr George Brticevic said,

“We are delighted to welcome a brand new music festival to the area headlined by some of Australia’s best-known artists, including local superstars, The Rubens. Hosting a music festival of this magnitude at the Campbelltown Athletics Centre is a sign that our city is bursting to life with opportunity.”

Ponniah’s future plans aim to create a positive stimulus for the Western Sydney community. Being interviewed with SBS The Feed, Ponniah commented on why it is important to have music available to younger generations where the community lacks accessibility,

“I’m hoping that over time we can develop a system that works, so kids know that you can work in the music industry if you are from the outer suburbs. We’re taking a bunch of industry professionals and musicians out there to do talks in schools and explain to kids what their options might be if they choose to go down this path.”

Ponniah points to what promoters of the Yours & Owls music festival has done with Wollongong in successfully revitalising a live music scene.

Telling The Feed, “They’ve been doing it for years and you can really see the effects of what they’ve done in the region,” he said. “I’m a true believer in creativity breeding more creativity and I would love to see Out Of Bounds get close to anything that those guys have done down there.”

Out of Bounds Festival takes place on Saturday 18th of January 2020. More for info about tickets click here on Oxtix. 

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