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Monday 26 February 2024

Just shucking: discover Tasmania's festival of the wild and wacky

Fancy working with a blacksmith/artist to create your own oyster shucking tool? 

Or maybe showing off your fashionable clothing design made from found/recycled materials? 

Tasmania's ECHO festival - the brainchild of country artist Ange Boxall - is a celebration of the eclectic. It is described as "guiding guests on a journey of exploration that encompasses all the senses - taste, smell, sight, sound and touch".

The festival returns for another year in 2024, running over the weekend of March 22-24 on the picturesque east coast of the island state.

The 2024 program brings together chefs, winemakers and producers along with artists, musicians, storytellers and thought leaders. It is a boutique 18+ event.

March 22 is dedicated to a Native Bounty Feast dinner (probably sold out by the time you read this), while Saturday 23rd is the main day and evening. Activities start at 10am and music will continue late into the evening.

BYO camping is available for Friday and Saturday nights, while a shuttle bus will also be available to Swansea town centre on Friday evening and throughout Saturday.

Among the highlights: the chance to work with blacksmith/artist Pete Mattila in a 200-year-old forge.

With the 2024 festival theme being oysters, Mattila will use a venue once used to make horseshoes to allow visitors to craft a shucking blade and then brand it with the ECHO stamp.

The wooden handles will be made from beautiful Tasmanian hardwood timber retrieved from the depths of the Pieman River, donated by Hydrowood. 

There will also be the opportunity to make traditional Aboriginal rope made from stringy bark and cutting grass with proud palawa artist and educator, Trish Hodge. 

This can be used to hang your handmade shucker in pride of place in your kitchen. 

Along with gin and wine masterclasses events will also include Sunday morning yoga, and Trashion on the Field.

ECHO patrons can make their own fashions from found objects, unwanted clothing, and pieces of plastic or rope from the local beach areas. This event is billed as a "a riot of absolute rubbish!" 

For tickets and details of the wide range of eclectic experiences see

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