It is the weekend Northern Tasmania has been waiting for. Junction's Hometown, the first major festival since the pandemic shut down the events industry, is here and there is plenty to look forward to.
The sold out celebration of Tasmanian art, performance and music will be held from November 27-29 in Prince's Square and will include a main stage area.
Junction's executive producer Frith Mabin said that while Hometown looks different to their usual Junction Arts, the heart of the festival remains the same.
"Pulling together an event like Junction Hometown is a big effort on the part of so many stakeholders, and we couldn't do it without the support of our partners, sponsors and artists," she said.
"Junction really brings our community together for such a positive experience."
The original Junction Arts Festival was postponed until next year due to the pandemic and the desire to want to celebrate the 10-year anniversary appropriately.
The festival is a crucial part of the Tasmanian arts landscape as it provides an immersive and intimate experience and a platform for local talent to share their work.
Hometown was born from the wish to unite the community and bring back art, music and performance to Launceston during a period in which the arts industry struggled to regain a foothold.
Organisers of Hometown said they were looking forward to bringing the festival to the community in a "COVID-safe way for the first medium-scale event in many months".
In other news:
What can you expect?
Junction has always focused on a Tasmanian line-up, but plenty of Launceston acts were also announced when the line-up was released, including Tasmanian Aboriginal singer and songwriter DENNI who recently released her EP Runaways.
She has appeared at Junction before but not as DENNI so for those who follow the singer, it is a great opportunity to support her.
DENNI previously said Junction do a "top job" of keeping the festival locally based.
MUSTER, a community dance project, will also have its debut at Hometown. The Johnny Cash inspired dance party has brought people from all walks of life, ages, and experience levels together.
Other popular acts announced include A. Swayze & the Ghosts, Claire Anne Taylor, The Embers, and Medhanit.
There were late additions to the line up including Tasmanian singer and songwriter Ben Salter, sword-swallowing contortionist Samora Squid, and Hobart based guitarist Jay Jarome.
Terrapin will also make appearances across the three days with their COVID-Busters performance to enforce safety in a fun and enjoyable way.
Hometown patrons will not just enjoy music and performances but other activities and local food and wine during their time at the festival.
Attendees will be able to purchase beverages from the likes of Willie Smiths Cider, Turners Stillhouse, Strait Vodka, Tamar Ridge Wines, Marions Vineyard, and Miners Gold Brewery.
Moo Brew will also be creating a Hometown lager for the event, dubbed Homebrew.
Food lovers won't go hungry with Bread + Butter, Sailor Food Truck, Little Devil Donuts, Blackboard, Lebanese Gourmet And Grill and Afgan Bolani all in attendance.
COVID-19 restrictions and other advisements
There is one session Friday, two sessions Saturday, and a session Sunday to adhere to COVID-19 restrictions, with numbers capped at 1000 entrants for each session.
Patrons will need to register their name and phone number at the gate for COVID tracing purposes and ticket holders are encouraged to download the government's COVIDSafe app.
Once a patron leaves the event they will not be allowed to re-enter due to safety precautions.
Organisers are asking patrons to be familiar with the festival's COVID-safety plan and commandments which includes staying at home if you are unwell to protect yourself and others, to register before you enter the event, practice good hand hygiene, stay seated when drinking and where possible, and to keep a social distance.
When patrons first enter they will be taken to a picnic rug which will be placed a safe distance from others. If you want to sit with your friends or family to enjoy the festival, make sure you arrive together.
This festival will not be beaten by COVID, nor will it be beaten by weather. If the weather turns, patrons are advised to bring raincoats instead of umbrellas for the comfort other patrons.
Hometown was announced back in October and officially sold out last Friday, with people eager to support local and be able to once again enjoy the events space.
Hometown will officially open on Friday, November 27 at 4pm with the first performances, Masked Family Portraits and Brandon Meyer, scheduled for 5pm.
All sales from the festival will go to supporting the artists and creators, a key part of what makes this festival important to the arts community.
This year has been difficult for performers and artists across the country so the festival has been proud to showcase the state's "resilient and vibrant arts scene," and said it was a great opportunity for Tasmanians to support the local creative industry.
City of Launceston mayor Albert van Zetten previously said the council was proud to support Junction as the festival "plays a significant role as a key cultural and creative event, with deep community roots".
"It epitomises the true cultural heartbeat of Northern Tasmania and beyond, drawing in thousands of people from across the state."
For more information about the festival visit https://www.junctionartsfestival.com.au/.