Mullum Music Festival Youth Mentorship Winners

Mullum Music Festival is thrilled to announce the winners of this year’s Youth Mentorship Program with winners coming from as far as Brisbane and Sydney.

For 8 years Mullum Music Festival has been supporting and nurturing young musicians through its Youth Mentorship Program, teaming up emerging artists under 21 years of age with established musicians from the festival line-up to mentor and provide hands-on practical advice in a festival setting. Since its inception more than 50 young artists have benefited from the program, co-ordinated by Cape Byron Steiner music teacher Tom Whittaker.

The winning young artists from each category are selected by their mentors. They each get a rehearsal session with their mentor, a 20-minute performance slot at the festival with their mentor backstage, the opportunity to watch their mentor perform from backstage and a weekend pass to the festival. Youth Mentorship performances are always a festival highlight.

This year’s winners are….
Miel (Band Category)
Ruby Gilbert (Singer Songwriter Category)
Amy Nelson (Vocal category)
Grace Donsworth (Under 15 category)


Miel - Winner: Band Category

Miel (pronounced Mee-el) are a trio of 16-year-old high school music students (Ella, Rosie and Akaysha) from Bellingen, NSW. They sing folk/indie songs with a focus on tight harmonies & endearing lyrics but they draw inspiration from many genres including Jazz, Classical, Blues, and the occasional Taylor Swift track, “because who doesn’t love a little trash pop?”

“We had been considering applying for the Mullum Youth Mentorship for quite some time but when we heard that Husky would be mentoring fireworks went off in our brains. We’ve been fans of Husky for years now, and seeing them live at Bello Winter Music Festival only solidified our adoration,” said the members of Miel. “We hope to gain a stronger onstage presence and expand our original repertoire and learn more about the songwriting process.”

Ruby Gilbert – Winner: Singer Songwriter Category
Aine Tyrrell

19-year-old Ruby Gilbert from Brisbane draws inspiration from short-lived love affairs, imagined yearnings and betrayal. Although still young, Ruby's song writing is remarkably mature, and she is quickly gaining a reputation for writing dark and brutally honest songs of loss, heartbreak and hardship.

She captures and vocalises feelings and emotions that make her lyrics deeply relatable. Ruby also sings murder ballads that she insists are fiction.

“It is an incredible opportunity to be mentored and to collaborate with a well-respected and experienced songwriter such as Aine Tyrrell. It’s also an amazing opportunity to be given the chance to play such a prestigious festival.”

This hauntingly beautiful song ‘Oh, Bones’ was written about a girl Ruby knew from her past who has seemingly disappeared from all social networks, and delves into the mystery of what may have happened to her...

Watch Ruby Gilbert ‘Oh Bones’ Live at The Holler Tree on

Amy Nelson – Winner: Vocal category
Kodi Twiner of Ladyslug

17-year-old Amy Nelson from Sydney is a jazz/pop/indie artist with an indescribable passion for music, and a passion for learning; particularly of musical instruments.

“I feel each instrument is like a new language and a new means of expressing what words cannot. At the moment I play guitar, piano, alto sax, flute and sing. My dream is to uplift the human spirit, and bring the world closer together through my music. Having just finished school, this will be the perfect opportunity to start realising that dream.”

Check out Amy Nelson’s entry video on

Grace Donsworth – Winner: Under 15 Category
Domini Foster

14-year-old Grace Donsworth from Iluka, NSW won the Coldstream Festival’s Under 18 busking competition and was runner up in 2016. She was also invited to busk at Bluesfest this year.

“I’m a Clarence Valley girl that loves to surf, skate and play music with my friends. I’ve been playing guitar since I was ten and have been inspired by my father and his former punk rock days. I am now influenced by all music! I would like to further improve my song writing and composition”

This year’s mentorships will be awarded at Mullum Music Festival Opening Night Gala where Under 15 Winner Grace Donsworth will also perform. Winners from the other categories will perform sets throughout the festival.


This year there will also be a special show ‘Song Harvest’ featuring a selection of past Youth Mentorship Program participants that is curated by two of the first artists to be mentored in the program, Domini Forster and Cecelia Brandolini, who have also gone on to great things themselves.

Mullum Music Festival
The 10th annual Mullum Music Festival (16-19 November, 2017) is a family-friendly event that takes over the streets, cafes and halls of the NSW North Coast town of Mullumbimby.




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