DARREN Middleton will use just about any reason to return to Tasmania, and playing at Festivale is as good as any.
The former Powderfinger guitarist and songwriter, who has ventured out on his own as a solo artist, has been announced as the latest musical act for the food and wine extravaganza in Launceston's City Park in February.
''I don't really know much about Festivale, apart from the fact there is going to be some good beer and good food, and it being in Tasmania, I just really love that part of the world,'' Middleton told The Examiner yesterday.
Middleton, who toured his debut solo album Translations in May with a show at Fresh, said he expected to have some new material for Festivale.
''I've started writing and I'm about to start demoing some new songs which are a lot more up-tempo,'' he said.
''The record that I put out is quite introspective lyrically, and lyrically my new songs will still have a bit of that, as I find that is the easiest and most honest way of approaching my music, but the music around it will be more up-temp and upbeat.''
Middleton will perform a 45-minute set on Saturday, February 14 from 6.05pm on the main stage.
''I don't like to plan too much about how I'm going to perform or react, but whenever we played Powderfinger shows in that transitional time between day and night, that's where we always wanted to be.
''Something just changes with people at that time, as they have wound down for the day and start to wind up for the evening, and their mood changes.''
Middleton joins Mental as Anything, The Eurogliders and their lead-singer Grace Knight on the music line-up.
Festivale chairwoman Lou Clark said Middleton's appearance was an exciting one for the event
''Powderfinger were obviously a massive Australian band, so to have someone like Darren come and play is a real coup for us.''
Festivale will be held from February 13-15.