First things first…

Hello, and welcome to Radar Illawarra!

RI is a blog dedicated to bringing attention to some of the sometimes overlooked and underpublicised aspects of music in Wollongong and the Illawarra region.

For instance, how many times have you seen a poster or ad for an awesome gig, play or event, but only the day AFTER it’s happened? If you’re anything like me, it’s happened a lot. Or, how many times have you just gone to the pub or stayed at home because you couldn’t find anything interesting to do on a Friday night in this town? Again, I’d wager that this isn’t an unfamiliar scenario to you.

Radar Illawarra has been established to make sure that willing Wollongong-ites are kept up to date on gigs and concerts happening in their town. The absence of a well-managed Wollongong entertainment guide means that gigs from local and touring musicians are poorly attended, because people simply do not know that these concerts are happening. Radar will bring attention to live music in the Illawarra, to ensure that local music fans can see gigs in their own home town. You’ll get constantly-updated news and information about upcoming gigs in the Illawarra, reviews of gigs and CDs, and interviews with up-and-coming Wollongong musicians.

RI also exists to support bands and music promoters in the local area, to ensure that music events attract enough patrons for it to be a financially viable prospect for venues to host live music. The aforementioned lack of local press or or local music blogs to bring attention to live music or bands means that bands struggle to attract patrons to gigs and venues are reluctant to host live music. In recent months, weekly music ventures at the Grand Hotel, Hostage X Nightclub and the Five Islands Brewery have been cancelled due to fluctuating attendance rates and a general unwillingness from venues to host music events.Only in the past few months have another group of venues stood up to fill the gaping hole left in the Wollongong music community. New venues like the Cabbage Tree Hotel, the newly re-launched Music Farmers and the re-invigorated Unibar are attracting top quality talent from Australia and around the world, and this Radar Illawarra will strive to bring attention to these gigs; to make sure that music fans in the local area are aware of upcoming music events; and to ultimately ensure that the music community in Wollongong and the Illawarra continues to stay strong.

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