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Two young Border musicians are set to immerse themselves in the best of the UK’s vibrant rural music scene after headlining at the 2016 Henty Machinery Field Days.
Maidie Dawson, of Kergunyah, and Lachlan Mitchell, of Jindera, performed as part of the Dreamfields Creative Youth mentor program at the field days, and were selected to take part in an exchange program with Somerset Rural Youth Project in the UK.
The two young musicians will tour and perform in Somerset on 20 to 30 April, visiting the site of one of the world’s most iconic music festivals, Glastonbury.
Maidie and Lachlan will take part in the Somerset Rural Youth Project annual conference, which involves youth music providers across the south-west of England on 28 April.
They will visit the Glastonbury music festival site and meet with founder Michael Eavis, as well as spend time at the National Folk Music Centre at Halsway Manor. The exchange is also supported by the Australian Cultural Fund, a fund-raising platform for Australian artists.
Somerset Rural Youth Project chief executive Nik Harwood is looking forward to welcoming Lachlan and Maidie to the region.
“Somerset Rural Youth Project are excited at the amazing opportunity offered by the Dreamfields Exchange,’’ Mr Harwood said.
“We will enjoy getting Maidie and Lachlan alongside some of the young musicians we are working with, and seeing the creativity flow.
“This perhaps may culminate in the recording of some new material in our studio to reflect their experience on the exchange.’’
Mr Harwood said the two young Australians would also take part in the Rural Music Network sessions.
Maidie has had years of performing under her belt with twice being an entrant in the Telstra Road to Discovery in 2010 and 2012. Listing her music genre as alternative folk and country, she released her debut EP single, Running Home, under the Dreamfields program in 2013.
Maidie supported country music star Tania Kernaghan during concerts at the Birdsville and Innamincka Hotels in 2015, and now studies nursing at La Trobe University, Ballarat.
Lachlan, 23, works as a radiographer, has performed over the summer as a solo artist and is finishing a new album at David Wilson Recording in Wagga.
The Jindera blues rock singer songwriter says the exposure to other musical genres in the UK would be an inspiration.
“I never thought I would get such an opportunity – it will be interesting to see what they are doing and how I can learn from it,’’ Lachlan said.
The Border community raised $2000 in sponsorship and donations to pay for Maidie and Lachlan’s flights to the UK while Somerset Rural Youth are providing accommodation.
Dreamfields convenor Craig Dent said Maidie and Lachlan were selected for the inaugural exchange after excelling themselves in the Border music scene over the past few years.
“There are three creative streams to the Dreamfields Awards so next year the exchange will be open to young musicians, photographers and creative writers participating in workshops held at their schools,’’ Mr Dent said.
In turn, it is envisaged Somerset Rural Youth will select two recipients to travel to Australia in September. They will be special guests at the Dreamfields Festival at the Thurgoona Golf Club on September 16, and headline at the 2017 Henty Machinery Field Days on September 19-21.
“They will tour the region in a shared rural experience between the Border community and Somerset,’’ Mr Dent said.
This year will be the fourth Henty Machinery Field Days has hosted the Dreamfields Creative Youth Mentor program.
HMFD chief executive officer Belinda Anderson said the co-operative was a strong advocate of youth involvement in the field days.
“We are happy to help the Dreamfields program reach a wider audience and foster the incredibly talented youth from the local region and the UK,’’ Mrs Anderson said.
“The exchange recipients from Somerset will have a chance to experience first hand the hospitality of our region, and the uniquely Australian event the field days have evolved into.’’

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