The Great Australian Rock Festival – Sunbury '73

Mushroom record label
The Great Australian Rock Festival – Sunbury '73
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The Great Australian Rock Festival – Sunbury ‘73 was the inaugural album release for the newly formed Mushroom Records.

The triple-disc compilation recorded by John French and released in April 1973 showcased live performances from 17 Australian artists. 

The second iteration of Sunbury in January 1973 featured a mainly antipodean line-up, with the exception of the American band Spirit.

Michael Gudinski, who formed Mushroom Records with Ray Evans in 1972, later said that Sunbury 'was a landmark event. A watershed, in a sense. Before Sunbury, anything Australian was regarded as second-rate. Import record shops were all the rage and people thought of Australian music as being second-rate to what was going on overseas. Sunbury was the start of people standing up and feeling proud of their own music'. 

Gudinski was 19 at the time of the first Sunbury festival, which he booked under his booking agency, Consolidated Rock. He also sold watermelon slices to parched punters, an enterprise that proved profitable until rain at the final Sunbury in 1975 meant that he was left with thousands of watermelons to dispose of. 

The Great Australian Rock Festival – Sunbury ‘73 not only provides a document of the important event but also helped put Mushroom on the map as a key player in the Australian music industry, with the label eventually becoming one of the most successful and iconic labels in Australia.

The Sunbury ‘73 album features the recognisable red toadstool label from Mushroom’s early releases.