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Bello Winter Music Announces Winners of this Year's Youth Mentorship Program

Bello Winter Music organisers are thrilled to announce the winners of the 3rd Youth Mentorship Program, where emerging artists are mentored by established artists on the festival bill.
It was a tough decision by General Managers from both Bello Winter Music & Mullum 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 program.
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 winning spot in the vocal category and opportunity to spend time under the guidance of the wonderful SARA TINDLEY. 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.
This year’s winners will each receive a rehearsal session with their mentor, a 20-minute performance at the festival with their mentor backstage, the opportunity to watch their mentor perform from backstage, and passes to the festival.
“The Bello Youth Mentorship program is brilliant,” said Dean Besley of the Bellingen Youth Hub.

“There’s great experience for our youth in applying, which is really easy to do, and the winners get to play in front of a real festival crowd who just love it. Best of all, they get to meet, hang out and be mentored by some extraordinary performers. The benefits and impacts I have seen for our young people have been amazing.”
For details and winners performance times visit
Bello Winter Music
6-9 July
Throughout the town of Bellingen, NSW

Visit for tickets and full festival program.
The Bello Winter Music Youth Mentorship is proudly supported by the Bellingen Shire Council and the Bellingen Youth Hub.