Showcasing its eighth year on our Summer calendar, the Torquay Nightjar Festival has all your guilty pleasures sorted. Hitting the grasslands on the Torquay Common at Surf Beach Drive over four consecutive Thursdays, beginning on January 4 and finishing on January 25, the festival is open to patrons from 4pm ’til 10pm. A family-friendly event that thrives on pleasing the general public, The Torquay Nightjar Festival is a hotspot for local talent, great food and even better drinks – sangria being the Forte fave. Here’s all you need to know in preparation for the festivities.
THE BASICS – LOCATION & ENTRY FEE
Torquay, on the Torquay Common – Surf Beach Drive. Enter near the corner of Bell St and the Great Ocean Road or use your legs and stroll across from Spring Creek Reserve.
Adult entry will set you back five bucks. Under 14′s are free!
PARK THE CAR AND BRING YOUR POOCH
Opposite the festival site, there is parking available at Spring Creek Reserve. You’ll have to be quick though, as spots tend to fill up fast! There are other parking alternatives in nearby side streets and parking lots, but don’t rely on these temperamental car spaces. Though the festival is only a 25 minute drive from Geelong, nominate a designated driver, get an Uber or dial 131008 if you’re planning on having one too many vinos. For the locals that have a little furry friend they’d like to bring along, you’re more than welcome! Just make sure he/she is on a lead and on their best behaviour.
YOU WON’T LEAVE HUNGRY!
The Nightjar always pulls through when it comes to satisfying cravings, ranging from savoury to sweet. Visit Spanish Gourmet Caterers to feel like you’re enjoying a flavoursome bite after a quick siesta in Spain with a seafood paella and a Running Bull Sangria – a match made in heaven. For the vegans and vegos, stop at sister duo run, The Smoothie Tank, for a wide array of superfoods that’ll leave you full and content. To those of you who are keen to keep on the go, fetch yourself the original spiral cut potato – A.K.A. the Twistto. Potato on a stick? Pretty hard to say no. Last but not least, line up at KD Catering for speedy service and delicious mini Dutch pancakes (poffertjes) with lemon sugar or chocolate sauce – they won’t let you down, but they will expand your waistline.
STALLS TO VISIT
Contribute to environmental sustainability by visiting Maria Mitropoulos’ Northern Sky stall. Presenting her raw crystals sourced locally and from around the globe, Northern Sky has heaps of groovy items to purchase for yourself or as a unique little present. In the theme of environmental preservation, get ready for Summer by stopping by at Bombshell Bay Swimwear and picking yourself up a pair of swimmers that are made using sustainable fabrics. But if you’re looking for something to display in the house, suss out Wayne O’Farrell’s photography pieces. He debuted his works in Fitzroy last year and his coastal images are hitting The Nightjar this Summer.
ARTISTS TO WATCH
Melbourne-bred solo artist Kurt Gentle is amongst the Australian Blue-Roots scene. His soul-hitting songwriting in alignment with his vintage like guitar skills makes him an artist to watch and a must see at Torquay Nightjar. He’ll be playing on opening night, Thursday Jan 4.
A local that grew up on Bells Beach before travelling through Brazil and Berlin is returning to his home turf on Jan 18 to perform at Torquay Nightjar. Similarly to Kurt Gentle, Thompson mixes blues and roots through his vocals and guitar skills to generate his unique sound that has brought him success in Brazil following his 2008 debut release ‘Stargazer.’
THE CAT EMPIRE, SARAH BLASKO, SAHARA BLECK AND THE SAND PEBBLES ON ‘THE FOURTH NIGHT’.
On its closing night, The Torquay Nightjar Festival is heating up the stage with four artists taking the spotlight to finalise the coastal party. The gates open a little earlier, welcoming ticketholders at 3pm. Purchase yours via http://the4thnight.com.au/.
The festival runs in Torquay on Thursday January 4, 11, 18 & 25, before moving to Geelong in February. For more info, visit www.nightjarfestival.com.au/
Written by Hannah Kenny