Muso ready for Ningaloo return

Sophia ConstantinePilbara News

Ben Catley, a high-energy solo act, has been named as one of many musicians to take centre stage at the 2018 Ningaloo Whale Shark Festival.

This year’s festival, held from May 25 to 27, will see the Whale Shark Marquee on Talanjee Oval turned into a rustic and tropical sea life wonderland.

Originally from the northern coast of England, Catley said he loved performing in smaller towns such as Albany, Exmouth, and Geraldton and felt a strong connection to his music and the audience.

“When you’re in a beautiful part of the world and there’s good live music, you can’t be in a better spot,” he said.

“It’s so much fun. People value live music when it comes ... everybody gets involved and comes down, which is good.”

Catley said he could not wait to get back to the Ningaloo Coast, having toured the region last year, playing at various venues including Froth Craft Brewery.

“It’s one of my favourite spots in Australia ... it’s incredible up there,” he said.

“Getting to swim with the whale sharks was wonderful, so I’m keen to get back.”

Catley has been touring WA for more than six years and spent his younger years playing around the UK.

Ningaloo Whale Shark Festival co-ordinator Branka King said the opening gala on Friday, May 25, was one of the biggest events on the Exmouth calendar, where people get to dress up in their finest cocktail wear.

A 35m marquee will be set up on Talanjee Oval from 10am to midnight, featuring plenty of high-energy music. On Sunday, the entertainment will move to Exmouth Yacht Club from 3pm-10pm, where there will be beach games, food stalls and more live music.

Ms King said it was the perfect time for locals and visitors to the region to immerse themselves in the beauty of the Ningaloo Coast.

“The weather is always fantastic at this time of the year,” she said.

“You can’t come to the festival without coming to swim with the whale sharks.

“We’ve also got the Ningaloo Centre, the new research centre in Exmouth, which will feature a lot of interactive activities.”

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