Boogong Masthead

Amber Nichols and Safia to headline Googfest

Molly McLaughlin

She may have given birth to her second child just a few months ago, but it hasn’t slowed Amber Nichols down.

In fact, the former The Voice contestant has been busier than ever, juggling her two children with gigs around Australia and her upcoming album.  Amber will perform in front of her home crowd, joining Safia with other local acts at Googfest, a free live music event on 6 February.

Amber says Googfest is a chance to “show people what I can do.”

“Going on a show like the Voice is great for the exposure but you don’t really get to show people your own songs,” she says.

“I would say my music is indie pop, a little bit folky and I’m so glad I’ve been invited to perform at Googfest.”

Amber Nichols.

Amber Nichols.

After a resounding success last year with a huge crowd, Googfest’s second year will be a celebration of the Googong community with music, food and entertainment.

“It will be all local bands, which is amazing,” Amber says.

“Burley Griffin are playing, who are my favourite Canberra band of all time. It’s a family friendly event and the kids can run around, so people can bring a picnic, a picnic blanket and chairs and just chill out and enjoy the show.”

In the last couple of months, Amber has been trying to adjust to her new life as both a mother and a musician, building on her recent success on The Voice.

“I have to be really deliberate when I’m writing,” she says.

“I’m always drawing inspiration from my day-to-day life but when I’m at home, I have the time to write but I don’t have the headspace. I think to be creative I really need to clear my mind so I love going for walks. I probably walk an hour a day. There’s a really beautiful little lake near where I live, or I go to Lake Burley Griffin and sit by the water.”



Amber is optimistic about the future, both of her own career and of the arts in Canberra. With cultural precincts like NewActon growing in popularity, she has seen the changes breathe new life into the city.

“When I was growing up I thought maybe I’d have to leave Canberra to pursue my dream but I’m so excited about what’s happening here at the moment,” she says.

“I think people will come to Googfest because they want to see acts like Safia and they’ll get exposed to all the other great local talent we have. I hope it brings a new audience to the Canberra music scene, because sometimes I think about how many people are just sitting at home watching Netflix when they could be out watching a live show and loving it!”

The Essentials

What: Googfest 2016

Where: Rockley Oval, Googong

When: 6 February from 5pm-9pm

How Much: Free



Free shuttle buses will run from Queanbeyan, Woden and Tuggeranong, see website for details.


Molly McLaughlin

Molly McLaughlin is new to Canberra and is attempting to prove to her friends that the capital city can be cool. This mostly involves frequently going out for brunch and then posting about it on social media, along with trekking up hills and around art galleries. She is half way through her uni degree but spends most of her time reading, writing and planning her next adventure. More about the Author

MEJ leaderboard