Organisers were thrilled with the response to the ninth edition of the Bendigo Blues and Roots Music Festival, staged earlier this month, saying the “best weekend in Bendigo” went off with a bang.
The festival has always been a showcase for the cream of local musicians, but it also welcomes artists and audiences from interstate and overseas, including acts from New Zealand, Germany, and Canada this year.
Festival director Colin Thompson said he was overwhelmed with the continued support from punters – both the local contingent, which represents 54 percent of crowds across the weekend and the out-of-towners who make the pilgrimage to Bendigo every year. He reserved special praise for the locals who ensure the festival runs smoothly across its four days.
“The positive feedback that our volunteer crew receives is so greatly appreciated,” Thompson says. “The time and energy that is generously donated by the army of volunteers who bring this festival to fruition every year is really heart-warming.”
As always, it was the local musicians who shone brightest on stages across town. Singer-guitarist Sherri Parry commandeered the stage at Ulumbarra on the Friday night, with her support slot temporarily stealing the spotlight from roots veteran John Butler. The following night it was fellow local stalwart Grim Fawkner, with Alister Turrill, who set the stage for folk-pop purveyors The Waifs.
Much-loved local attraction The Blues Tram was riding the rails all weekend long, with musical offerings courtesy of Geoff Achison, Cass Eager, Owen Campbell, The McNaMarr Project, Anna Scionti, Charlie Bedford, Geoffrey Williams, and Buddy Knox.
Festival organisers are not ones to rest on their laurels and are already looking ahead to next year’s 10th anniversary edition of the festival, which will be staged from November 12 to 15.
“We’ll be back to do it all again next year for the 10th anniversary,” Thompson says. “In pubs and parks, balconies, bakeries and bars, theatres, churches, wineries, laneways, basements, and in the most unexpected nook… you will find music. Lock it in your calendar now.”
Happening around and out of town during the next fortnight:
Sydney art-pop protagonist Montaigne brings her Complex album tour to Tap House on Thursday, November 21. From 8pm; tickets $35 from www.moshtix.com.au
Accordionist Rowan Blackmore launches his album Amis D’Hiver at the Golden Vine on Saturday, November 23. Support from Flora. From 7.30pm; entry $5.
Singer-songwriter Graeme Connors brings his From The Backcountry album tour to The Capital on Saturday, November 23. From 7.30pm; tickets $54-$69 from www.bendigoregion.com.au
Lucy Harrison, who took out first place in the Busker’s Day competition staged earlier this year, returns to the Axedale Tavern on Sunday, November 24. From 1pm; free entry.
Singer/guitarist Grim Fawkner plays his roots/blues/country melange at Heathcote’s Palling Bros Brewery on Sunday, November 24. From 2pm; free entry.
Written by Lynette Walker. Contact: email@example.com
Photo by Adrianna Grubelnik