Going strong for more than two decades now, the Deans Marsh Festival is a combined treat of live music, street performers, Otway food and wine and a unique artisans’ craft market – and is set to return again at the end of this month.
Going down on March 24 from 10am to 5pm at the Deans Marsh Recreation Reserve, this year’s festival theme is “Experience Our Hinterland” and will see the heart of Deans Marsh come to life as the community celebrates all that they are.
With fun for the whole family, you’ll find a range of great local produce from the region, market stalls with all sorts of craft-y, quirky, delicious, useful and produce-y stuff for you to browse and buy, and a tonne of kid’s activities, including games, foot races, dress-ups, puppets, magic tricks, pony rides while the grown-ups indulge in good food and wine. There will also be a range of vintage displays, sheep-dogs, and festival-favourites the dog-jump and Jack Russell races.
As part of this theme, community art workshops have been consistent in the lead up to the Festival to create a forest of standing sticks that hold stories exploring a sense of place and belonging. The Standing Story Sticks will be used to create an installation at the Deans Marsh Festival where community members will share their story and decorated sticks throughout the day.
And of course, what is a festival without the music? This year, the festival sees a stunning line-up of musical artists guaranteed to get your feet tapping and your soul singing.
First up, Mountain Grey will be delivering vintage roots straight from the country, with a eucalyptus twist. With humming guitar notes, eclectic percussion, precision bottom end bass all woven between blues harp and impassioned vocals, each original song is imbued with the poetry of regret, reflection or simply sets folks a-dancing to that irresistible soul rhythm.
Forte favourite Alister Turrill will also take to the stage. Renowned blues/folk/rock/roots artist, Alister has been referred to as a songwriter of the highest order, and a sign that the future of Australian blues is in good hands by Lloyd Spiegel himself.
Joining them, front man for the fabulous Salmon Guts band, Dean Krueger has spent many years playing music in the Otway’s and is well known and well-loved for his cool tunes, while Howlin’ Wind will be bringing music with sophisticated classical traditions with earthy folk roots and an implicit understanding of Australia’s indigenous song lines to the festival surrounds.
Alongside these, heaps of other local talent will take to the stage including Josh Rigg, Josh Goddard and a performance from the OMM Rock Choir.
This year there is also a festival After-Party, from 5pm a thank you to all the volunteers, stall-holders and helpers. There will be another two hours of great music on stage, the Torquay Paella Man to cooking dinner, and the Cricket Club will be serving sundowners.
Come for the festival, and stay for the party.
Entry is by gold coin donation. Visit deansmarsh.org.au/deans-marsh-festival/