Jack Nolan's Meredith Music Festival magic

WELCOMING: Jack Nolan, with wife Mary, fondly watched Meredith Music Festival grow from the pavilion on their family farm. Festival-goers fondly remember Jack always open for a chat in the pavilion.
WELCOMING: Jack Nolan, with wife Mary, fondly watched Meredith Music Festival grow from the pavilion on their family farm. Festival-goers fondly remember Jack always open for a chat in the pavilion.

THOUGHTFUL, kind Meredith Music Festival host Jack Nolan was always open for a chat.

You could usually find him on festival days in a pavilion on the family property.

Festival-goers say Meredith and Golden Plains events will not be the same without him after Jack died on Thursday morning. He was 77 years old.

Long-time family friend and part of the festival family Lou Ridsdale said the real magic in the festival was Jack and his wife Mary. 

“The heart of the festival is the family,” Ms Ridsdale said. “He’s a great man who would give the best cuddles and always have a chat. There was no judgement, he would talk to anyone and was always open to accepting anybody.”

Meredith started as a bush party by Jack’s son Chris and his friends. In 1996, Chris suffered a multi-organ collapse while working in Vietnam and was left with a severe acquired brain injury. 

Jack and Mary have since continued to host the festival on their property and have fondly watched it grow from strength to strength.

The Nolan family sheep farm has been in the family for six generations. 

Ms Ridsdale said Jack had such a strong connection for the land and spoke so proudly of its history and the surrounding community.

Jack and Mary worked hard to ensure the festival was part of the community, raising funds for the town and made the town proud.

“The fact Meredith (festival) has contributed so much, and seeing everyone come together from across the town, is because of them,” Ms Ridsdale said. “There’s a ripple effect that comes from the heart.”

Meredith and Golden Plains music festivals issued a statement on their websites saying, “he was with hospital staff and everything possible was done, but he slipped away”.

Both events are hosted on the Nolan’s Meredith Supernatural Amphitheatre.

Speaking on stage to Meredith festival-goers last year, Jack spoke of his grandfather, who planted pinetrees on the property as somewhere for birds to rest.

“We’ve still got a lot of birds but they’re different colours, different shapes and some are very beautiful,” Jack quipped.

The one act he would dearly loved to have booked was Johnny Cash.

This story Jack’s Meredith magic first appeared on The Courier.