Bello Winter Music organisers are thrilled to announce the winners of the 3rd Youth Mentorship Programme, where emerging artists are mentored by established artists on the festival bill.

It was a tough decision by General Managers from both Mullum Music & Bello Winter Music festivals to judge this year’s entries, with applications from across the region streaming in. This year’s exceptional winners are a very special group of young artists who will benefit greatly from the coveted programme.

This year’s mentors are Festival Patron Jack Carty - Singer Songwriter category; globetrotting, award-winning duo Hussy Hicks - Band category; alt-country songstress Sara Tindley will mentor the Vocal winner; and Ben Wilson, member of the notorious Button Collective, will mentor the Under 15years winner.

Congratulations to our 2017 Youth Mentorship Winners!

Singer Songwriter Category : RYAN KEMP (12yrs) - JACK CARTY
Under 15yrs Categpry : LEAH BESLEY (14yrs) - BEN WILSON
Vocal Category: AKASHYA LEOPOLD (16yrs) - SARA TINDLEY
Band Category : NADIA & PALOMA BIRCH (15&16yrs) -H USSY HICKS

It was a unanimous decision that mesmerising 12year old Yamba entrant RYAN KEMP won the singer songwriter category, earning him the chance to work with 2017 festival patron and artist JACK CARTY. Ryan’s song ‘Be Not Afraid’ showcased an emerging talent well beyond his years, setting a very high standard from someone so young. 14 year old Bellingen local LEAH BESLEY also shone with her entry winning the Under 15yrs category with an impressive vocal range and thoughtful, emotive songwriting skills. Leah will be mentored by BEN WILSON of THE BUTTON COLLECTIVE. 16year old AKASHYA LEOPOLD’s stunning natural and effortless vocal has landed her the opportunity to spend time under the guidance and support of the wonderful SARA TINDLEY for this year’s programme. Bellingen sisters NADIA & PALOMA BIRCH have won the band category with their beautiful harmonies and musicianship, for which national festival favourites HUSSY HICKS will share their expertise and experiences with the local duo. _________________________________________________________________

: Opening Night | Mem Hall | 6.30pm
& SUN | GOLF CLUB | 1pm
LEAH BESLEY: SAT | Golf Club | 11.30am
AKASHYA LEOPOLD: SUN | Golf Club | 6pm
NADIA & PALOMA BIRCH: SUN | 3pm | St Margaret's Hall

The Bello Winter Music YOUTH MENTORSHIP Programme is proudly sponsored by The BELLINGEN SHIRE COUNCIL and the BELLO YOUTH HUB.