Sons of the East: Back from the world stage and headlining Port Fairy Folk Festival

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Sons of the East: Back from the world stage and headlining Port Fairy Folk Festival

Sons of the East tour
Words by Coco Veldkamp

After a few rings, Dan Wallage answers the phone.

“Sorry, I know you were supposed to speak with Nic, but he and Jack are in the studio recording vocals,” he explains. “But I’m free now if you don’t mind?”

Despite returning from a demanding three-month tour across the UK, Europe, and North America, the members of Sons of the East – Dan Wallage, Nic Johnston, and Jack Rollins – wasted no time. They’re straight back into their Sydney studio recording new music. They’ve truly found their momentum – and they’re not about to lose it.

Sons of the East at Port Fairy Folk Festival

  • March 8 to 11
  • Port Fairy, Victoria
  • Graham Nash, Ondara, Kate Miller-Heidke, Sarah Blasko and many more
  • Get tickets and find out more information here

Keep up with the latest music news, features, festivals, interviews and reviews here.


Sons of the East was formed in 2011, with humble beginnings in Sydney – where all three members grew up.

“Jack and I have known each other since we were three or four years old – since pre-school. We’ve been friends since then. I met Nic through playing Aussie Rules when I was 13. We all loved playing guitar when we were in high school. When we graduated, Jack and I had written a few songs and then brought Nic in on it and we all started writing together. After a few months, we started recording them for fun – just because we loved it. We put a few songs out and started playing at the local pub. And then it just kicked off from there,” Wallage explains.

Raised on their parents’ music collections, Sons of the East have developed a nostalgic and soulful folk sound which has captivated audiences worldwide. Their soulful lyricism is a testament to their collaborative creative process.

“We all grew up listening to our parents’ music. A lot of like the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen, Crowded House – I was obsessed with them, Bob Dylan… That kind of music just got embedded in us from our parents,” said Wallage.

“When we create music, it’s been collaborative since the beginning. We might sit in a room and come up with one from scratch. Someone might come in with a verse and then we will flesh the rest out. Or someone might come in with a finished song and we will polish it off together and figure out the instrumentation. It changes with every song”.

Port Fairy Folk Festival 2024 lineup

Alice Skye | Cam Cole (ENG) | Cat Clyde (CAN) | Cool Out Sun | Damon Smith Daoiri Farrell (IRE) | Fanny Lumsden | Gaby Moreno (GTM) | Gangar (NOR)
Gnoss (SCO) | Good Habits (ENG) | Graham Nash (USA) | John Craigie (USA) Judy Collins (USA) | Kate Miller-Heidke | The Little Stevies | Lorraine Nash (IRE) Luka Bloom (IRE) | The Merindas | Nigel Wearne & The Spooks | Ondara (USA) Queenie | Quote The Raven (CAN) | Ralph McTell (ENG) | Sarah Blasko Sharon Shannon Big Band (IRE) | The SongBirds (INT) | Sons of the East Teeny Tiny Stevies | Teho (FIN)


Sons of the East have seen the world’s stage – selling out international venues and meeting fans from across the globe.

“We just did about two months in Europe doing a lot of the summer festivals and then we did a bunch of headline shows in the UK and Europe. It’s amazing getting to go back and play to more and more people every time. We had amazing sold-out shows in LA, Vancouver, Montreal, and New York… It was incredible,” said Wallage.

“We love touring and we are so fortunate that we can. But it is nice to be back for Australian summer- knowing we won’t be in a van or a tour bus for a while. It’s good to be home and get back in the studio.”

Sons of the East has maintained a nostalgic, local feel while reaching massive audiences. Their propensity to keep to their roots and style is reminiscent of a band that’s seen far less popularity than them – and this is the foundation of their enduring charm.

“When we started the band, we kept everything in-house. We produce our records in-house. We stayed independent as a band and kept it collaborative amongst ourselves,” Wallage explained.

Sons of the East are coming to Port Fairy Folk Festival 2024 which will run from 8 – 11 March. The band promises an unmissable live performance – something that they’re certainly known for.

“We are so excited to be playing at Port Fairy Folk Festival. We’ve heard it’s a wonderful vibe and a fantastic festival. We’re hopefully going to put on a really fun show for everyone. That’s what we love doing –being on stage and giving it our all. So hopefully the audience will be able to feel that and enjoy that with us. We have always seen ourselves as a live band so it should be special,” said Wallage.

Grab tickets to catch Sons of East at Port Fairy Folk Festival here

This article was made in partnership with Port Fairy Folk Festival.