Poster, Warumpi Band, composite board / paper / metal, made for and used by Festival Records, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 1986
This poster exemplifies the efforts of Festival Records to promote its own recording artists. The Warumpi Band formed in their home Papunya in the Northern Territory. Their first single was one of the first rock songs recorded in an Aboriginal language. Their 1987 album 'Go Bush' included Neil Murray's now classic song 'My Island Home'. The Warumpi Band used guitars and drums as well as Aboriginal instruments. They played boomerangs as percussion instruments, hitting them together like clapping sticks. Festival issued the Warumpi Band's records on its own 'alternative' in-house label Parole.
As an Australian record company, Festival Records was for over 50 years a significant force in the music recording industry. It financed, recorded, manufactured, promoted, marketed, distributed and published a huge range of local and overseas music, from classical to popular, under an equally vast number of labels. Although a major record company, it was independent of the five multinational companies that dominated the industry worldwide.
Festival Records manufactured vinyl discs in Sydney for 40 years. At the height of production in the 1980s Festival's factory was buzzing with 26 record presses pumping out 25,000 records per day. In addition there was a cassette duplicating plant, an art department, a printing department for album covers, plus a huge warehouse for packing and distribution.
Festival Records provided a home to a vast array of musical styles and many independent labels, not readily identified with the Festival brand. For over fifty years its existence as a major independent record company, competing with the multinationals, helped to create a healthy environment for Australian music.
Made for Festival Records. Designer and printer unknown.
Festival Records kept publicity material and promotional items relating to its recording artists. This poster remained in Festival Records' collection until donated to the Museum. It was displayed in the Museum's exhibition 'Spinning Around: 50 Years of Festival Records', from 2001 to 2003.