Nathan Burton plays the didgeridoo.
Nathan Burton plays the didgeridoo.

Olympic gig brings tears of joy

IT'S a gig that would make even the most experienced performer nervous - standing before 160,000 people at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.

But for Coffs Coast didgeridoo player Nathan Burton, it was the first step inside the Bird's Nest at Beijing that was the most nerve wracking.

“There were three rehearsals before the actual ceremony, and I was so nervous when I walked into the stadium for the first one that I was actually crying tears of joy,” Nathan said. “The rehearsal was in front of 50,000 people so by the night of the opening ceremony I was prepared for the full crowd.

“It's definitely the biggest gig I've ever done.”

The Bonville didgeridoo maker and performer was invited to play with Aboriginal orchestral didgeridoo performer William Barton, who played one of Nathan's instruments on the night.

“It was unbelievable, a real honour to play beside him,” Nathan said.

During his trip to China Nathan took in the sights as well, visiting temples, tombs, the Forbidden City and the shopping district, where he ran into Australian flag bearer, rower James Tomkins.

Nathan's didgeridoo went with him everywhere - so much so that during a visit to the Great Wall, security conscious Chinese police thought he was carrying a bazooka.

“I didn't want to put it on my shoulder, that's for sure,” he said.

Nathan is back at work now crafting didgeridoos at Bonville.



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