Blender Festival

Developing a new festival for Wollongong 2015


Destination Wollongong wanted to develop a new festival that in the future would be of international significance that would celebrate the ‘new’ Wollongong to facilitate a change in brand perception of the area


To develop a new festival Tom Thumb was contracted in mid 2014.  While we have run and owned our own festivals we wanted to bring in ideas from a nationally successful festival.  For this Adam Zammit, the founder of Big Day Out gave us 4 months of his time to work with us and Destination Wollongong to help create the “why” for Blender.

In early 2015 we began educating the public on the festival.  We worked with the local arts, music and tech scenes to develop the curatorial for the festival.  While a number of groups fitted the curatorial we had to develop. an opening night street party and an education component (TedX combined with Q&A) that we named Mind Shift.

Tom Thumb staff, Ben Perry was the Festival Director and Chris Bierton the Event Director.  They were also supported by the Head of Events from Destination Wollongong Jeremy Wilshire and representing music, Ben Tillman from Yours & Owls, arts – Simon Grant from Wonder Walls and Genevieve Gatt and Melissa Ryan from innovation Campus representing the Tech arm.


The Event was awarded Semi Finalist in the NSW Regional and Community Awards - Events and Tourism category.

“It was an absolute pleasure to be involved with the Blender Festival in conjunction with Lime Rocket. The Blender Buzzy TV is a brilliant interactive idea that provided great exposure for our local surf academy…” Illawarra Surf Academy

“So proud my new city supports alternative art.” Danna Warrington, Wonderwalls Faceboo

“These guys are really good & it’s great for Wollongong.” Julie Pallas, BoarderX Series Facebook

“Wish this festival was more than once a year! Had a blast yesterday thanks organisers.” Emma Maree, Yours & Owls Festival, Facebook

“Right – that’s it. Wollongong just shot to the top of my bucket list. Lucky I don’t live too far away. I just love street art. I’m prepared to travel around the world to see it so a couple of hours’ drive to the Gong will be really easy.” Lyn (aka) The Travelling Lindfields

“The Blender Festival is blowing my mind. There are so many amazing ideas being thrown around at Mind Shift.” Keean Murrell Snape ‏@KMurrellSnape