Sophie hosts music festival for Byron Youth Service

Last month was the second edition of the Flaming Heart Festival at the Billinudgel Hotel - the event was organised by SAE audio graduate, Sophie Ryder. The day raised almost $1,600 for the Byron Youth Service (YAC), who provide a range of wellbeing options to support young people and their families in the region.
Band performing at Sophie Ryder's Flaming Heart Festival

Sophie, who graduated with a Bachelor of Audio degree from SAE Byron Bay last year, ran Saturday’s celebration of indie and psychedelic rock in conjunction with her label, Flaming Heart Records, which supports up-and-coming artists. The day featured local acts including Leaving Jordan, Sugar Leaves, Eyesite, Mudwagon, Liquid Contours, and Pj Sheek.

“Following the success of last year’s Flaming Heart Festival, it was great to host this year’s edition at the Billinudgel Hotel,” Sophie shared. “The outdoor stage area really amplified the performances, which I think helped make it such a successful and enjoyable day for everyone.”

What it means

The YAC holds a special place in Sophie’s heart, after the organisation supported her during her work placement, as part of her degree at SAE. In addition, the YAC supported Sophie with a range of raffle prizes, plus marketing and promotion for the festival.

“The staff at the YAC had full confidence in my ability to do whatever I thought would work to engage with young people in the community, so I really appreciated that,” she said. “After that amazing experience working with them, I wanted to do something in the community that would support the great work they’re doing with families, which is how this festival came about.”

Sophie Ryder
Studying at SAE

Sophie revealed that without studying at SAE, she wouldn’t have gained the skills and knowledge to start up a record label and host two successful community music events.

“When I first started, I didn’t have a clue about audio technology – I just had a very basic knowledge of using GarageBand,” Sophie explained. “I learnt so much at SAE, from the technical and practical skills, I had such a great time there.

“The team at SAE very kindly let me borrow all the live gear to use at the festival, which really made a difference to the overall quality of the sound and experience for the artists on the day.”

“Friend raising”

YAC Manager, Christian Tancred was delighted with the success of the festival and Sophie’s ongoing enthusiasm for the organisation.

“It’s incredibly heartwarming to see emerging professionals like Sophie, who have had a positive learning experience working at the YAC, feel compelled to raise money for us,” Christian said.

“We always see these events as ‘friend raising’. We might receive some funds, but we’re ultimately building our community, and supporting young people like Sophie, who are just starting their careers, so it’s a win-win for us.”

Persons hand adjusting knobs of a mixing analogue audio console

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