FIB Chats With Alice Skye About Double J’s All-female Wildflower Festival

Wildflower Festival is bringing together some of Australia’s most prized female singer-songwriters at some of the country’s most idyllic locations throughout 2022.

Alice Skye | Credit: National Indigenous Times

Celebrating women in music and the return of the live scene, the Mudgee lineup boasts Missy Higgins, Kasey Chambers, Kate Miller-Heidke, Sarah Blasko, Deborah Conway, Alice Skye and Georgia June.

Australian folk icon Missy Higgins explains that,

“I’m beyond thrilled to be a part of Wildflower. All the women involved are total inspirations and some were actually really big influences on me in the early days of my career”.

Off the back of extraordinary ticket sales for the first three Wildflower events announced last month, Empire Touring and TEG LIVE are elated to announce the addition of Craigmoor Wines, Mudgee to the run of Wildflower shows for 2022.

The roving festival will take over Rochford Wines in the Yarra Valley on March 12, before moving on to Riverstage in Brisbane on March 19, Roche Estate in the Hunter Valley on April 2 and Craigmoor Wines in Mudgee on October 29 2022.

Isobel Lanesman of Empire Touring effuses,

After the successful launch of the first three shows, it is exciting to see that we have captured people’s imagination and are thrilled to be bringing this incredible show to regional Australia. Wildflower is here to celebrate women in music, many festival lineups have often had an underrepresentation of women. It is a time to celebrate women in Australian music – artists, producers, and designers – collaborating to bring together a show of extraordinary talents.”

FIB chats with Alice Skye about Wildflower Festival and what to expect from the event…

Credit: supplied

Wildflower Festival is coming up next year. How did you become involved?

I just got the [request] through my manager. It was obviously great to be asked.

And have you previously crossed paths with any of the other acts on the lineup?

I have crossed paths with a few of them, very briefly though, so this will be our first real opportunity. I sang with Kate Miller-Heidke on New Year’s Eve last year with a bunch of other women actually, and Paul Kelly. But yeah, very, very brief so I’m excited to play these few shows.

I read that you won the Australian women music award in 2019. So you’re quite involved with female-focused industry work?

I guess by default I am, yeah definitely.

From your perspective, what do you think are some of the main issues facing women in the music industry?

I mean, that’s a huge question, there are so many different answers for it. I think, or have been thinking recently… Everybody’s talking about diversity, a diverse lineup and you know, quality and equality and representation is important. But I think the experiences we have once we’re there are really, really important too. You can’t just book people on your lineup to tick a box, it should be an experience that has felt positive for everyone.

And I think it feels like that with Wildflower festival, behind the scenes people who are working on it are also women, not just the ones on the stage, you know. That’s something I think about, that I’m thinking about, you know. Like, how does it feel once you’re there, in these spaces?

What are you most looking forward to about the festival?

I mean, I haven’t played a show since April. And I don’t plan on playing until next year now. It will be amazing, I think it will be a real, sort of, ‘pinch me, is this really happening?’ The women on this lineup, I was at very formative years of my life when they were releasing their first albums, things like that. So I’ve grown up as a big fan of Missy Higgins, Kasey Chambers and Sarah Blasko and Kate. All of them, yeah, it’s a very cool lineup for me.

I was reading that you toured with Midnight Oil in February?

Yeah, that feels like a long time ago. That was crazy, I can’t believe they pulled it all off. Feels like a dream considering I’ve been in and out of lockdown since then. The shows were amazing and crowds were just so pumped to be there. And obviously, Midnight Oil are an iconic Australian band. Just being able to watch them from behind stage and spend time with them. I love that about touring. You can absorb so much from the people around you, they’re very generous and very funny.

And you sang on a track of Moby’s “Reprise” during covid. What was that like? Are you a Moby fan?

Yeah, I mean I feel like I’m just a little bit too young to have missed the hype. I realise what a big deal it is and was very blown away to have gotten that email. I was not at all expecting it. But I love being asked to do things, so it was exciting. And crazy too, I did it during one of the softer lockdowns in Melbourne and recorded it in a studio here. It got sent across to, you know, Moby. It’s amazing to be able to do those things. I mean, I think, during a time where everything was feeling pretty stagnant. Yeah, that was cool.

Has your tour schedule been affected by the pandemic?

I released an album in July this year, we were hoping to tour and that got rescheduled many, many times. It is what it is. I feel a bit more okay about it now. I think we’re just looking forward now.

So your tour’s been rescheduled?

Yeah, we’ll be doing it next year and announce it soon. It feels like a bit more certainty this time around. We’ve done a lot of reschedules and thought, “maybe this will happen”.  Which is such a crazy way to work and I feel for everybody in the music industry and others that have been working like that for so long.

What advice would you give to women looking to get their foot in the door of the creative industry?

It’s tricky, especially being young. Especially for myself and I think, for a lot of people, especially women, being raised as women. You quite often doubt yourself or question your intuition I think.

Sometimes I really question my gut feeling, do I even know what I’m talking about? Trust your gut, if it’s not working, it’s okay. Sometimes yeah, that can be how you learn too. If it’s the first time you’re doing it, you can try another way. Trusting your gut and being okay with the things you don’t want to do and the things you do want to do. It can be very hard to back yourself and have that kind of agency.

I was a young, 19-year-old when I first started. I guess it’s different for everyone, yeah. Also, surround yourself with good people that can help you, because there’s no way you’re gonna do it all entirely alone. It’s good to have people you trust and share values with you and bounce ideas off of.

Have you got any tips for Wildflower attendees?

First tip is to go to it [laughs]. I feel like they’re set up for a really good time. I’m excited to see the crowd. I feel like it’s a show that I would go to, so I’m excited. I feel like it will be amazing to be on this lineup of an amazing group of women and the people who come to the show. I imagine it’s going to draw a really beautiful crowd of people. So yeah, I don’t really have any advice, but I’m looking forward to it.

Tickets to Craigmoor Wines, Mudgee go on sale at at 11 am local time on Wednesday 17 November. A 48-hour Wildflower presale is live from 11 am local time on Monday 15 November.

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