Is there a better way to spend a balmy summer evening than by heading to a night festival? With bustling crowds, great street food, urban culture, local designers and musicians, night festivals create a real unique, spirited and lively atmosphere.
We love them so that’s why we’re throwing out a friendly reminder that the rather wonderful NightJar Festival will do its thing again in Torquay and Geelong this summer. Now diving into its 9th year, each season sees the festivals interactive art installations, the culinary delights, roving performers, buskers and banging main stage evolve with enthusiasm!
A “vibrant, colourful and eclectic mix of a night market, music festival and showcase for emerging designers”, the splendour begins in Torquay on Thursday nights in January, overlooking the sun setting across the ocean, before the team pull up pegs and move into Geelong for Friday nights in February – a more intimate festival yet full of life.
With eight nights to capture the imagination and hearts of the adventurous two-year-old right through to the art-loving 90-year-old across the summer, NightJar gives local artists, musicians and performers the chance to share their talents with the region which has become a major drawcard of the annual event.
Kicking it all off in Torquay on January 3rd, the NightJar stage will come alive with performances from Girl Friday, Blooming, Geelong’s own The Kite Machine and Tanya George Band. If you missed the first edition it’s no stress because it all goes down again the next week (January 10th) this time with Matt Katsis, The New Savages, George & Noriko and Hussy Hicks taking to the stage.
“NightJar is the local summer fest you just can’t help but get around. It always delivers such amazing lineup of music and we’re absolutely frothing to be invited to play again! Rude to miss it really,” says Levi Anderson, vocalist of Geelong’s premier Funk Rock export The Kite Machine who are veterans on the NightJar stage.
Shake out a picnic rug, kick back and indulge in some of the regions best boutique crafted beers and wine at the third Torquay session will see Lash 78, Lucy & The Night Sky, Miles Recommends and Aine light up the stage, while performances from Ancient Animal Orchestra, The Twoks, Ajak Kwai and Deep Street Soul will bid farewell to the Torquay NightJar on Thursday January 24.
Many musicians unseen at Torquay will then be taking to the stage each Friday in February, the perfect real life playlist for your knock off drinks. The first Friday night (February 1st) will see performances from the likes of Momoko Rose, Tess Guthrie, Michael Meeks & The Lost Souls, and The Vibraphonic Orchestra, while the second week (February 8th) will see Bon Temps, Tanya George Solo and Zoe Fox and the Rocket Clocks take to the stage.
With Sangria in hand the Friday festivities continue for the third Friday edition on February 15th which will see performances from The Quick Sixes, Jack The Fox, Salty Bones Band and Surfusion, and then it’s all wrapped up for another year with Blue Howl, The Refuge and Libby Steel taking over the stage for the final evening on February 22nd.
Talk about a smorgasbord of musical talent, NightJar’s 2019 edition is looking to be its best one yet.
“The last time I played at NightJar was in 2011 with Square One which I remember we were all stoked about,” beams Torquay local Tess Guthrie. “I’ve grown up slightly since then, and NightJar has grown up an awful lot. So to watch the festival get bigger over the years, involving more and more of the community and independent artists, and to be a part of it again in 2019, feels extremely cool.
“Events like NightJar are an important platform for celebrating this and engaging the creativity of the wider community. Plus I love that my hometown has an event of this scale that still feels like a big family party,” she says.
We love seeing all the talent at the Nightjar, but it doesn’t stop at just the music.
Each year, NightJar also showcases a range of creative stalls that are worth having a look at. With the promise of excellent gift ideas for any upcoming birthdays, you’ll find stalls selling candles, sweets and treats like the Surfcoast Chocolate Company, delicious salami, gourmet chilli products, skincare products, Henna art, along with printed photography and unique paintings, and a range of jewellery from the likes of Global Princess, Kissy and Out of Anakie. You can peep the full list of stalls online or just meander through the carefully curated market precinct as the sun goes down.
While live music and market stalls are a great excuse to head on down to the NightJar, it’s also known for it’s ability to pull through when it comes to satisfying cravings, ranging from savoury to sweet.
With an abundance of options we’ve narrowed down our favourites that will be heading to both locations this summer. First up, Spanish Gourmet Caterers are your go-to if you feel like enjoying a flavoursome bite after a quick siesta in Spain with a seafood paella and a Running Bull Sangria – a match made in heaven. If you’re a fan of Mexican, Perla Tacos create soft corn tacos that are super tasty and healthy, using whole foods, locally sourced ingredients and healthy cooking methods. 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.
Other food stalls to help make you indecisive for dinner include The Flying Calamari Brothers, Bavarian Bangers, Curry Up Now, Eat The Chicken, Mushiki Dumplings, plus heaps more. Best of all, they even have vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options, catering to absolutely everybody.
If your looking for a sugary treat, you’ll find solace in Eat Cannoli, Nordenfine Ice Cream Company, Honey dee loukoumades and Les Crepes de Marion. There will also be a range of the region’s best boutique crafted beers and wine to enjoy. We’d recommend having an early lunch on NightJar days…
“There’s something dreamy about the ambience of Summer nights,” echoes the lovely and talented Momoko Rose who will be performing in Geelong on Friday February 1. “Counting down the days until we play NightJar Festival!”
Leave your worries at the gate, bring your pooch and step inside NightJar’s wonderland and become immersed in the magical atmosphere. NightJar Festival will tantalise the senses and evoke the soul. It’s a summer pilgrimage for holidaymakers and locals a like, most can’t leave their experience at just one visit!
Visit the website (nightjarfestival.com.au) for more information and pop these dates in your 2019 diary now!