Heyday Ambassador Dean Whitby – Drunk Mums
Melbourne-based musician and audio engineer, Dean Whitby, is in the midst of success. His band, Drunk Mums, is releasing their first full-length album later this year, and his sound engineering studio, Little Ghost Mastering, boasts multiple ARIA award winners, The Audreys, as clients.
But as Dean’s career in the music industry swells, he laments that his hometown of Cairns wasn’t a more fecund place to pursue such a career.
Dean fondly recalls Johno’s Blues Bar. There he’d watch blues act The Doyles, and would occasionally be asked on stage to play music with them. After teaching music at a summer camp in America, Dean returned home hoping to play his own shows, only to find his favourite venue had shut down under the 2007 licensing law uproar – as did many venues around Cairns. With help from Terry Doyle, Dean and best-friend Jake opened their own venue Tramways, next to the Cape York Hotel. Their “Blood and Guts” events attracted exciting young acts from around the region – until they too had to shut down.
Dean felt his only option after that was to move elsewhere to pursue a music career; and it’s for this reason he’s now a Heyday Festival Ambassador. As an ambassador, Dean hopes to carry on the effort put forth by his friends to showcase how much people in the region crave culture and entertainment; he hopes Heyday can help augment Cairns’ need for more live, original music.
Moreover, Heyday Festival will be most meaningful if it can inspire and engage youth to create something that didn’t exist before, a piece of art worth remembering. That, Dean says, will be an event definitely worth heading back from Melbourne for.
By Luke Madsen, Heyday Festival Writer