This is where you'll find the best of INDIE AUSSIE ACOUSTIC MUSIC from Fretfest Pty Ltd.

For Merch (Cds, T-shirts), Touring, Venues and more!



Founder and Director of fRETfEST, Al Buchan, visited America to meet with indie music industry leaders, music educators and venue owners to develop a Musician's Exchange Program.

Buchan joined The Blenders Male Vocal Chorus for perfromances at Charnegie Hall, New York and also perform solo at selected venues across the states.


Indie Aussie music-company director Al Buchan sang at Carnegie Hall NEW YORK with The Blenders chorus and toured 3 states, making it a first for the local indie music producer.

Al has made a life out of helping young musicians take important early steps in their music careers. He owns the fRETfEST trademark in America and has been developing links for several years.

He joined The Blenders last year after meeting a member of the 70-member chorus at a luncheon and now sings with the chorus at formal ceremonies, as well as releasing a single of his own, this year.

The USA trip was his first abroad, exploring music hotspots including Austin Texas, Nashville Tennessee and New York to assess the viability of creating cross-cultural connections. “I’m keen to transpose some of the innovative modes of support that young musicians enjoy in America, here down under,” Al said.

Highlights included a two-day stay in Austin, the self-proclaimed "Music Capital Of The World" during the week of the largest music conference, SXSW.

There, Buchan met up with Chris Alberts, the director of development from the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, who unearthed the discounted health services provided for under-supported musicians in the music capital of America.

On the plane to Nashville, Buchan sat next to legendary fiddle-player, Greg Perkins and met with the unofficial “Ambassador Of Australian Music", (music producer) Mark Moffatt, who highlighted key aspects of the industry including award-rates paid to musicians.

Nashville is the Country Music Capital Of America and Buchan performed at the revered songwriter’s nights - Debi Champion's Wednesday night at The Commodore Lounge as well as playing the Open Mic at The Coco Café. Both were packed, solid. Musicians qued out the door for their chance to play one song. The level of talent was outstanding.

But the big one was CARNEGIE HALL, New York City!

Singing with The Blenders, Buchan stepped onto the stage of the magnificent Stern Hall. "It was a thrill that I will never forget." he said.  "It is a lavishly appointed theatre and it was a SOLD OUT show with a capacity crowd of nearly 3000 patrons! A sight to behold and a night to remember!"

Also in New York, Al met with Rose Ortiz, Operations Manager at The Abrons Arts Centre, where plans were discussed regarding a music exchange program.
In New York City, Buchan also performed at famed jazz club Cleopatra’s Needle, reviving some of his Jazz tunes from his days at the Conservatoruim Of Music.

“Right now I am now arranging meetings state and local government representatives regarding the discoveries I made in America and how innovations can be implemented here,” Al said.

Former Queensland Arts Minister, Ian Walker, said he admired Al’s work with young musicians in the community. “Al has done so much to promote the cause of young musicians in Queensland,”

Al concludes, “This trip to the USA has closed a gap. It was illuminating and extremely positive. There is a lot we can learn from the Americans and I will implement and, also lobby for, change within our local music industry.”

To follow the founder’s musical journey go to

Contact to connect with fRETfEST USA.



UPDATE:  Rob Longstaff has "left the building" and is now back home in Australia. Watch the video of his USA adventures here >

Stay tuned for more Tour announcements coming soon!  



KODEY BRIMS > 17yo Aussie fRETfEST singer songwriter, KODEY BRIMS has been accepted into the Berklee College Of Music and she has also been offered a scholarship with the Bostonian leaders in music education! WOW! Stay tuned for news about Kodey's progress... soon!

Kodey has just released her debut Ep too and she also appears on the 2014 fRETfEST CAFE CD which you can sample at ... NOW!

Kodey Brims standing outside BERKLEE COLLEGE OF MUSIC, Boston USA.

Congratulations KODEY BRIMS !!!



This is where we introduce the team representing fRETfEST USA

Dunc McD > rep'n El Paso TEXAS with his sensational Froggy Bottom K model

Scotty K > rep'n on the streets of New Orleans, GEORGIA, in March 2014

More pics coming soon!




SOLD OUT: The debut fRETfEST album, featuring 22 tracks by indie artists including JAC STONE who went on to feature in THE VOICE 2013 (on Seal's Team), Georgia Potter, Mick Danby, David Di Marco, Rob Longstaff, Tim Loydell, names we now know and love!


SOLD OUT: The followup Cd that cnmented Fretfest as a force on the indie acoustic scene, with 18 tracks by original artists including ANDREW REDFORD who went on to win Telstra's Tamworth Discovery Award in 2009, Kat Cooper, Tommy D and many more


LIMITED STOCK: This is the 2010-2011 compilation of the very best artists at fRETfEST including BREE BULLOCK, NICK HUTCHINSON, LAUREN CRICK, SIMON THOMAS and more. 18 Tracks in total. RRP $25.00 +p/h

DEEP WATER Songwriters In Support Of The Australian Environment


AVAILABLE NOW! This is the first of our themed Cds, produced in 2012 with the support of LOCK THE GATE and proudly bearing the AUSTRALIAN MADE logo. It features 20 tracks by indie Aussie artists including PAUL GREENE (signed to ABC Publishing), NATHAN KAYE, and songs full of hope for our environment. LISTEN TO SAMPLER > RRP $20.00 +p/h






fRETfEST CAFE - 2014



LATEST RELEASEThis 2014 Cd is for the lovers of coffer and good conversations, as much as it is for the lovers of solitude and contemplation. A blend of subtle acoustic tunes to add the perfect ambiance to any relaxed cafe, home or office setting. LISTEN TO SAMPLER  RRP $15.00 +p/h



Contact us today to order yours!



11450 Rojas Drive

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FRETFEST is a Registered TRADEMARK in the USA





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For Singer Songwriters, here's some of the best places see and play in the USA!


The "World Famous" Brimingham's BOTTLETREE CAFE > Open Mic Night Original Music Showcase, Wednesday Nights from 7pm. Check it out right here >


The TAPROOT restaurant, bar and live music venue, Anchorage. Minors welcome till 10pm accomp by Parents >


Tempe's YUCCA TAPROOM has been hosting live music for nearly 40 years! Check out their Open Mic Night on Mondays

Tucson's SKYBAR is 100% Solar Powered Cafe with Wednesday night Open Mic. It's outta this world!


Ann Arbor's finest, THE ARK, is renowned for the quality and breadth of its live music presentations. An intimate 400 seat club, featuring folk & roots Music, their occasional Wednesday night Open Mic is a real treat! Details here >


Gotta check out the HOTEL CAFE in HollywoodLocated in the middle of Hollywood on Cahuenga Blvd, between Hollywood Blvd and Sunset Blvd. They have exceptional taste in new music and they also have one of the funniest FAQ pages in existence. Check it out at

Monday night open mic at HOTEL UTAH SALOON is one of the best traditions in San Francisco. The venue itself is spectacular - it's been around since 1908! But open mic night with host El Zakador is certainly not to be missed. San Francisco has high expectations from its folkies, and the Hotel Utah lives up to every one. The Hotel Utah open mic is the epicenter of the singer-songwriter community. this sounds like it was made for fRETfEST!

Berkeley’s FREIGHT & SALVAGE COFFEEHOUSE is a non-profit, smoke-free, all-ages venue that's been going since 1968. It plays host to all sorts of traditional musicians and their enthusiasts – whether it's jazz, bluegrass, traditional & contemporary folk, blues, gospel, or world beat. - another must see.


Atlanta is a great town to play in as a folk artist – there's certainly no shortage of venues for budding singer/songwriters, and that suits us perfectly. We hear EDDIE’S ATTIC is its own little pocket of fabulousness just on the outskirts of town. - our very own ROB LONGSTAFF played here... amazing!


BOSTON > Cafe 939 is on our radar already so stay tuned for fRETfEST appearance dates > and check out their Tuesday night FREE performances showcasing Berklee student, faculty, and alumni, plus Special Guests. Check out BERKLEE IN THE ROUND!


THE SIDEWALK CAFE would be just another dingy hipster dive bar on New York’s Avenue A. Nonetheless, somehow the Sidewalk has become a beacon of folk (er ... anti-folk) activity. Where Bleecker Street used to be the place to be in the 60s, the Sidewalk has taken over with a full-throttle "folk you" to its west side counterpart. The stage is nice and roomy, and the folks who run the sound know how to do it right. - New York New York... fRETfEST LOVES YOU!

THE BITTER END - Many of the great folk clubs in the West Village have come and gone for various reasons. Nonetheless, The Bitter End has survived through decades and generations of folk singer/songwriters as they make their pilgrimage to the hallowed sidewalks between Houston & 14th Street in New York City. The stage is roomy, the sound is brilliant, and the room itself just feels good to be inside. - we're on that pilgrimage right now! See ya there!

CLEOPATRA'S NEEDLE is a jazz lovers gem in the heart of New York. A tradional open mic and good mediteranean food make this a must see with free entry and a $10 minimum. Sit at the bar or take a table to dine in style. The small stage has a grand piano and small guitar amp and microphone ready to you to croon a few tunes.


THE GREY EAGLE – Ashville NC. This smoke-free, all-ages venue is one of the better listening room-style clubs in the country. The staff is friendly and corial, and the performers are always top notch. They run a great weekly open mic night, and attract a lot of touring national and regional artists. It's also a major centerpiece in Asheville's thriving folk music community. - we can smell that fresh ocean air right now, it's fRETfEST FRESH.

WHITE HORSE BLACK MOUNTAIN - Tuesday night’s Open Mic at White Horse Black Mountain in Western North Carolina, 15 minutes east of Asheville - we're there!  The region's vibrant music scene, a world-class stage, listening room environment, Yamaha grand piano, full sound reinforcement with pro sound engineer and lots of attention to making artists sound their best. Good opportunity to audition or White Horse gig. Info or


CANAL STREET TAVERN is on our agenda too! Hosted by E. Ryan Roth and Windsor Knotts, Dayton’s Canal best Open Stage is on every Tuesday night - music begins promptly at 9 pm. - admission is FREE. All musicians are welcome. Sign up in advance.


Portland's WHITE EAGLE has helped to keep this thriving folk town's scene alive for several years. What began as sort of a small community bar has become the coveted venue at which to play if your a Portlander with an acoustic guitar. Open mic nights are well-attended and peopled with great writers. - we're coming over!


THE COMMODORE GRILLE, writers night, run by Debi Champion is a must do in the country music capital of the world! The perfect stage and teh perfect host, great sound and good food, pleaseant safe surroundings all combine to make this the best little songwriter's night in town. For details go to  and turn up early to get a spot!

THE BLUEBIRD, next to the Ryman Auditorium, is probably the coolest venue in all of Nashville. There's nothing particularly aesthetically special about the place; but what distinguishes it from so many other clubs around the country is the discretion with which they plan their performances. The Bluebird only showcases great songwriters – that sounds like fRETfEST personified. A coveted destination >

CAFE COCO, every Tuesday and Thursday night, don't miss Nashville's most eclectic Acoustic Singer Songwriter Night. Voted one of the top-3 open mics 9 years in a row by the Nashville Scene Readers Poll!  Signup is at 7pm and the music starts at 8pm.  For details >


Austin's CACTUS CAFE has played host to a veritable who's who roster of singer/songwriters, just like fRETfEST. It's one of those venues that, as a fan, you could probably show up at any night and expect great music. As a performer, you can rest assured that the sound system wasn't made for rock bands (something you come to relish on the road), and they actually know how to make acoustic guitars sound as great as they should. - lock us in!

THE SAXON PUB is an award-winning listening room in Austin that has helped launch the careers of several prominent entertainers. It is alson known for booking some of the greatest music legends around, performing in an intimate atmospher that Kris Kristofferson likened to "playing in his own living room". Make an enquiry via this link >


HOPVINE PUBSeattle. Wednesday night open mic is one of the only outlets for Seattle's underappreciated Folk scene, which, believe it or not, is thriving. The players that make it out for open mic at Hopvine include downhome Bluegrassers and frat boy rockers. It's always packed and we're looking for a crowd... great!

If you're an American singer songwriter aged between 15 and 25 and you'd like to join us on the ride of a lifetime, contact us now.



We're setting up an exchange program for teen troubadours in 2015. Applications will open soon and expressions of interest from sponsors and collaborative teen music entiries are welcome now.

Bring a teen to Australia to experience our unique music festivals, lifestyle, climate and culture.


Thanks to Kim Ruehl for her informative text and terrific website which is how we sourced a lot of the information above!

You can find out heaps more about Kim at 

If you require any information about our activities in USA please contact us via 


Singer Songwriter Showcase

Music Mentorship Program