Start your day right with the best Croissants in Geelong and the Bellarine

Start your day right with the best Croissants in Geelong and the Bellarine

There’s nothing more quintessential than a croissant to start the day. Geelong has countless pastry outlets churning out these crispy golden baked goods each day.

Here’s where to find the best of the best.

Born and Bread Bakehouse

Born and Bread Bakehouse has become a Pakington Street hero since landing on the strip in 2014. Ben Gower, the owner and head baker comes from good stock, having both a father and grandfather who were masters of the trade. Gower has taken things to a new level, operating one of the most sought after bakery’s in the region. Born and Bread’s delicious pastries are given that additional pop through the interior design of Doweljones, where a restrained colour palette of white and natural timber ensures that the buttery wares are the focal point in the space. 

Address: Shop 2, 364 Pakington Street, Newtown
Open: Monday-Saturday 730am – 2pm 


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Ket Baker

100% sourdough is the MO at Ket Baker. From humble beginnings out of a kitchen garage in 2016, Ket Baker found a new site in Wallington to expand their operation. Miek Paulus, the genius behind the baked goods, completed her pastry training in Belgium, and shortly after fell in love with an Aussie in France. Lucky for us, the man who stole her heart was a Geelong local, so now we have access to these delicious pastries on our doorstep. The sour twang of the pastry is delectable, and pairs perfectly with some sweetness; maybe a danish filled with locally sourced fruit and custard, or one filled with homemade raspberry jam (and butter please).

Address: 377 Grubb Road, Wallington
Open (or until sold out – check socials): Tuesday-Friday 8am – 6pm
Saturday 8am – 5pm
Sunday 9am – 3pm


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That Place Patisserie

Ashea Allen, a French-trained pastry chef and Geelong local is the brains behind That Place. With serious credentials both internationally and domestically (Tivoli Road Bakery), Allen has managed to emulate the quality of her peers, creating ‘the place’ when it comes to croissants and sweet treats in Geelong. With a dedicated croissant room to keep the conditions just right, you can expect world-class quality. The pastry is buttery and flaky, and is regularly paired with decadent specials – recent offers like the chocolate croissant covered in black sesame, salted caramel and chocolate mousse have our attention.

Address: 110b Mt Pleasant Road, Belmont
Open: Tuesday 7am – 12pm
Wednesday-Friday 7am – 3pm
Saturday 8am – 3pm
Sunday 8am – 12pm 


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Butter and Co

Another Pakington Street favourite is Butter and Co. After training in Melbourne at the Grant Hyatt, and a brief galavant across Europe, Adele Carr, the owner and head chef was ready for her dream to take shape. But first, a 30-month refurbishment of her site was required (nooo!). Lucky for us that was some time ago, and the team have continued to refine their craft since opening. At Butter and Co the focus is on the croissants, lovingly crafted over three days. Savoury croissants are done to perfection. Crowd favourites are the reuben – baked with pastrami, swiss cheese, sauerkraut and finished with a fresh pickle; and the ham and cheese – filled with ham hock and béchamel sauce. 

Address: 316 Pakington Street, Newtown
Open: Tuesday-Saturday 8am – 2.30pm
Sunday: 9am – 1pm


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Pane Di Matteo 

Highton locals are proud that Pane di Matteo calls their suburb home, and with good reason. Since opening in 2015, the team have been serving up some of the butteriest croissants known to man. After 14 years of learning from the best (the old’ man), Matt Santoro decided to venture out alone and Pane di Matteo, which translates to ‘bread by Matthew’ was born. Matt takes care of the bread, and Sicilian-trained pastry chef Vincenzo Sabatino takes care of the pastries. The Italian dream team are proud of their heritage, and if croissants aren’t your thing (even though they will be after visiting) be sure to try some fresh baked biscotti or cannoli.

Address: 12 Porter Avenue, Highton
Open (or until sold out – check socials): Monday-Friday 7am – 1pm
Saturday 7.30am – 1pm 


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Local Geelong

Local Geelong is a well-loved cafe slinging coffee, cake, brunch and pastries by day, before transforming into an Enoteca at night. With local snacks seven days a week and some of the smoothest coffee around town, the space is super light and airy, filled with plants and tasty-goodness. Locally cultured butter is a heavy feature (yay) at Local, with their almond croissants and white choc croissants being gifts from god. 

Address: 175 McKillop St, Geelong
Open: Wednesday-Sunday 7am – 2pm (closed Monday-Tuesday)


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Piknik Café

What started as the restoration of an old scotch oven has resulted in the continued creation of some of Bellarines best baked goods. Alchemy Woodfire Bakehouse sells its goods at Piknik Café now, but the focus is still on quality, naturally leavened, organic bread and pastries. Expect to see classics here, a place where escargots and danishes are on high rotation too. Be sure to pair your plain croissant with one of the delicious house-made preserves or jams (…if that’s your jam).

Address: 1195 Queenscliff Road, Swan Bay
Open: Wednesday-Sunday 7am – 230pm


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Little Wings Artisan Bread

After many years trying to perfect a sourdough loaf, you best believe that Little Wings also has the croissant covered. This family run operation prides itself on quality, making small batches of baked treats that utilise as much local produce as humanly possible. The experimentation with their croissants is a bit more contained than their bread loaves, but expect to see classics done well. Remember treats from here should be savoured, because the team is only baking form Thursday through to Saturday. 

Location: Unit 2/34 Murradoc Road, Drysdale 3222
Open (or until sold out, check socials): Thursday-Friday 9am – 4pm
Saturday 9am – 1pm


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Filmed on the surf coast, Aussie horror thriller Crow Valley (starring Geelong’s Mayor) lands on streaming services

Described as ‘Misery meets Wolf Creek’, Aussie horror thriller Crow Valley has today been released on Australian streaming services. It’s available for streaming now from Google Play, Youtube Movies and Vimeo on Demand.

Keep up with the latest entertainment news and events in the region here

Written and directed by Torquay filmmaker Josh Conn and shot on a tight budget along our beautiful Surf Coast, Crow Valley follows Mountain biker Benny Jones who sets off on a weekend ride to remote Crow Valley but is knocked off his bike in a brutal hit and run.

He wakes up badly injured in an abandoned cabin where he meets young hiker Greta. When her lies and sanity start to unravel, he finds himself in a desperate fight for survival; in a fight for his life.

The 78 minute film also features Geelong actress Greta Nelson and Geelong Mayor Peter Murrihy, as all good films should!

Crow Valley was selected for Monster Fest (2021) and has been lauded by the horror media: “Conn ratchets up the suspense tantalizingly, increasing tension as the backstories of the cyclist and Greta are slowly — and chillingly — unveiled. The two leads have stirring chemistry together, and both inhabit their characters with gusto […] It’s well shot and directed, with impressive production values.” – Horror Fuel”

Check out the trailer below.

Crow Valley | Official Trailer from Bounty Films on Vimeo.

Crow Valley is available for streaming now on Youtube moviesGoogle Movies, and Vimeo on Demand

NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal is is playing a one-off DJ set in Victoria this month

Shaquille O’Neal, hailed as one of the most dominant players in NBA history, is going to be performing a one-off DJ set in Melbourne this month.

Keep up with the latest music news, releases and interviews here.

Shaq will be making his way to Australia later this month for a series of speaking events and exclusive appearances in Sydney and Melbourne, and while in the Victorian city, the NBA megastar and business mogul will be treating punters to a night they’ll never forget. Performing under the moniker, DJ Diesel, he will deliver an exclusive DJ set at Melbourne’s stylish nightclub, 170 Russell on Wednesday 24 August presented by Lucky Ent.

He is no stranger to the stage, having performed at high-profile events such as the U.S Formula 1, he has made guest appearances at international music festivals such as Lollapalooza, Tomorrowland and Imagine as well as creating ‘Shaq’s Fun House’ event in Los Angeles during Super Bowl Weekend.


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Although DJing is a relatively new pursuit, O’Neal claims to have been DJing in some form since the 1980s, when he was a student at Louisiana State University and has released multiple studio rap albums in the 1990s including his debut album ‘Shaq Diesel’ in 1993. The album went on to achieve double Platinum certification in the United States. Being a DJ is one of Shaq’s true passions and he’s excited to bring his live set to Melbourne!

O’Neal’s highly anticipated return will be his first visit to Australia in over 20 years and is proudly presented by Australian Basketball Players’ Association and The Hour Group.

“I’m really excited for this long-awaited tour to come to Australia! It’s my first time back in such a long time and I can’t wait to see you Aussies down under,” Said, Shaquille O’Neal.

The Business mogul, Hall of Famer and 4-time NBA championship winner will also appear at Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne on Thursday 25 August 2022.

Limited tickets for the exclusive DJ Diesel performance are on sale now here

A karaoke competition is taking over this classic Geelong pub this month

Just when you thought Friday nights couldn’t get any better, the folk at one of Geelong’s mainstays Elephant and Castle have upped the ante on their weekly karaoke and cocktails nights by introducing a bit of friendly competition.

Taking over the main bar every Friday night until September 9, the pub is hosting its first-ever ‘karaoke contest’.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around the region here

Kicking off tonight, August 5, there will be six qualifying rounds each Friday night. Two heat winners from each round will then go through to the Grand Final on September 16th.

The event will be hosted by ‘Pauli and Angie’ and feature special guests judges throughout the competition.

For those keen on belting out a Rihanna and Whitney, they’ll be in the running for a bunch of cash prizes, with first place receving $500, second place scoring $150 and third place earning $100. There will also be $50 Elephant & Castle vouchers given to each heat winner.

If that wasn’t enough the $14 cocktail specials are sure to help get you singing and dancing all night long. Think espresso martinis, French martinis, and amaretto sours, and the likes of Poker Face, The Horses, Livin’ On A Prayer or Wannabe.


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Register your interest via by leaving your details and what date you want to sing or sign up on the night from 8pm.

The Elephant and Castle is located at 158 McKillop St, East Geelong. Walk-ins are welcomed but bookings are recommended. Visit the website for more information.

Portarlington Pier has been transformed with 120m of stunning art celebrating Wadawurrung Country

Locals and visitors will be welcomed by Aboriginal art celebrating a sense of Wadawurrung Country when they visit the new Portarlington Pier on the Bellarine Peninsula – which is now officially open.

On Thursday, August 4, Minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne and Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville announced the original artwork and works to upgrade the pier havd been completed, with a ceremony to be held next month to mark the occasion.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around the region here

The artwork – which spans over 120 metres – has been created by the Traditional Owners, the Wadawurrung people, and displayed along a new covered walkway constructed from the foreshore to the ferry terminal.

More than 100 Wadawurrung families contributed to the artwork – with hand-drawn illustrations etched into the structure’s specialised marine glass and metal panels to tell the stories of place, water and journey.

The artwork compliments the coastal landscape and culturally significant local marine species including sea snails, fish, molluscs, and crustaceans, imparting valuable knowledge of the area’s traditional use over tens of thousands of years.

“This is such an important project for Portarlington – we’ve upgraded the pier and now locals and visitors will be welcomed by this artwork that showcases the stories of the area’s Traditional Owners, the Wadawurrung People,” Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville said.

“We’re proud to have worked with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation to display this artwork on the new covered walkway and tell their stories of place, water and journey.”


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Portarlington Harbour is an important focal point for the Bellarine Peninsula, providing significant economic and recreational benefits.

The $9.6 million upgrade to the pier saw major improvements take place – including a new, strengthened pier head to enable vehicle access for the aquaculture industry and emergency response crews. A new accessible low landing and rock groyne has also been installed to improve access to the water and protect harbour berths.

The upgrade has been funded by the Andrews Labor Government’s $24 million Piers and Jetties Stimulus Package.

“We know Portarlington Pier is a much-loved destination on the Bellarine Peninsula for locals and visitors, so we’re delighted to have worked closely on this collaboration with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation to connect their stories and cultural heritage through this original artwork,” says Minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne.

“The pier is now officially open and ready to welcome boaters, anglers and swimmers with the completion of upgrade works ensuring the area can continue to be enjoyed well into the future.”

More information about the upgrade can be found online here

The best gigs, festivals and concerts happening across regional Victoria this August

Did you know that August was not named after Augustus Gloop, the gluttonous urchin from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? It makes sense when you think about it, given the book came out in 1964 and the world has been turning for several more years than the book’s existence.  

August was actually named after the First Emperor of Rome, Caesar Augustus. Unlike the rotund Gloop’s inclination for sugary things, Augustus preferred the diet of bread, small fishes, fresh hand-pressed cheese and green figs. However, he also once had 300 prisoners executed at the same time and also had his own daughter exiled. Gloop’s greediness doesn’t look too bad now.

Anyway, enjoy a Wonka Bar and check out these satisfying and delicious gigs…      

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around the region here

Pierce Brothers – Volta, Ballarat on August 5

The passion for music the Pierce Brothers displayed in their Bourke Street Mall busking days remains as strong as ever with their latest, Into the Great Unknown

Russell Morris – Macedon Railway Hotel, Macedon on August 5 

In 1966, at the age of 18, Russell Morris began his long musical journey with Somebody’s Image. A few years later he would strike gold with ‘The Real Thing’. 

Gwyn Ashton – Pistol Pete’s Geelong on August 5

Gwyn Ashton has called England home for over two decades, using it as a base to tour here, there and everywhere. COVID forced him to return to his hometown of Adelaide. 

Taste of Tamworth – COPACC on August 5

Led by Carter & Carter, this Tamworth Country Music Festival sampler also features nine-time Golden Guitar winner Lyn Bowtell and Jetty Road. 

C.W. Stoneking – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine on August 5; Volta, Ballarat on August 11; and Torquay Hotel, Torquay on August 18

After an absence of more than a decade, C.W. Stoneking and His Primitive Horn Orchestra are returning to the circuit with new songs and a few surprises. 


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Nimbus Rooftop – Nimbus Rooftop Bar, Bendigo throughout August 

Your Nimbus Rooftop Bar month features Erica Hawkey (August 12), Liz Frencham (August 19) and Maya Rose (August 26).  

Handle Bar – Handle Bar, Bendigo throughout August 

Your Handle Bar month features Dan Simons and Chenai Boucher on August 5, Rough Rider and Louise MacGregor on August 13 and Paper Mouse on August 26.  

SupperClub Presents – The Palais, Hepburn Springs throughout August

Your SupperClub month features Gareth Hugget on August 5, Grim Fawkner on August 12, Kimberly on August 19 and Jarrod Shaw on August 26.   

Baby Velvet – The Bridge, Castlemaine on August 6

All Our Exes Live in Texas’ Hannah Croft is behind Blue Velvet, and Please Don’t Be in Love with Someone Else is her debut solo album. 

City of Melbourne Highland Pipe Band – Bendigo South East College Theatre on August 6

Traditional favourites, original and contemporary works will be performed by the City of Melbourne Highland Pipe Band, one of the country’s oldest pipe bands. 

Windsavers – Pistol Pete’s, Geelong on August 6

During 2020, Aaron Gillett, Benny Gerrard and Alex Stewart entered the studio. They would later emerge as blues outfit Windsavers. 

The Weeping Willows – The Palais, Hepburn Springs on August 6

Winners of three Golden Guitars and 2021 Australian Folk Music and Music Victoria Awards, The Weeping Willows fuse the Bluegrass tradition with gothic Americana imagery. 


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Kav Temperley – Lighthouse Studio, Warrnambool on August 6 

With his second solo album Machines of Love and Grace set for release in September, Eskimo Joe frontman Kav Temperley reckons now is a good time to tour. 

Kitty Flanagan – Lighthouse Theatre, Warrnambool on August 6

If you have a burning question, Kitty Flanagan may well have an answer. You may not like the answer, but she’ll have one. Shows are at 5pm and 8pm. 

Jasmin Bade – Bomboras Beach Bar, Torquay on August 7 

Studying music at the University of Tasmania, up-and-coming country singer-songwriter Jasmin Bade found success with her debut single, ‘I’m Fine’. ‘Rent’ is her latest.  

Methods – Barwon Club, Geelong on August 7

Whatever method of transport you choose matters not, as long as that method reliably gets you to see Methods perform. They’ll be joined by Blue Mascara and more. 

David M Western – The Bridge, Castlemaine on August 7

Born and raised in the foothills of The Grampians, the now Melbourne-based David M Western has recently released his debut album, Child Mind.  

Slowly Slowly – Torquay Hotel, Torquay on August 12

Move quickly quickly to secure your tickets to Slowly Slowly as they hope to “see some new parts of Australia, and return to some favourite spots”.  


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Nicolas Cage Fighter – Volta, Ballarat on August 12

The heat-seeking panthers of music, Ballarat-bred genre fusers Nicolas Cage Fighter are as Cagey as ever with The Bones That Grew from Pain

Hop it to the Top – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine on August 12

Come enjoy an evening of ska, rocksteady, reggae, soul and RnB with Pat Powell & the Ska Vendors, Road to Ruin and Alex Burns. 

Sing a Song of Sixpence – Macedon Railway Hotel, Macedon on August 12; Ballarat Mechanics Institute, Ballarat on August 13; and Old Church on the Hill, Bendigo on August 14 

Sing a Song of Sixpence is a writer’s round where some of the country’s finest musos come together to play tunes and share the stories behind the songs. 

WinterWild – Apollo Bay – August 12-14 & 26-28

Celebrating the full power of winter, this multidisciplinary dark arts festival brings together everything from music to beachside bonfires to yoga by the sea.


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The Whitlams Black Stump Band – Queenscliff Town Hall, Queenscliff on August 13

Formed during a recording session in mid-2021, The Black Stump Band brings a country flavour to the beloved works of The Whitlams, including, of course, ‘No Aphrodisiac’. 

Munky Business – Pistol Pete’s, Geelong on August 13

There’s no monkey business here. But there is Munky Business, a NOLA funk and soul band that’s ready to head back to the venue that hosted their debut performance.  

The Blues Tram – Bendigo on August 13

Hop aboard a restored vintage Class tram #610 and enjoy the sights of Bendigo as you listen to the sweet sounds of Kerryn Fields and Grim Fawkner. 

Taylor Sheridan – Macedon Railway Hotel, Macedon on August 13

With influences ranging from Stevie Wonder to James Taylor, songman Taylor Sheridan has supported some of Australia’s finest with what he describes as “soulfully acoustic” music. 

The Rions – Barwon Club Hotel, Barwon Club on August 13

With high school now but a memory, the four friends from Avalon who make up The Rions are setting out for their first headlining tour. There goes the neighbourhood.


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The Absolutely ’80s – Gateway Hotel, Corio on August 13 

From the hair to the clothes to the music, the 1980s were a magical time. Relive the music with Scott Carne, Brian Mannix, Ally Fowler and Wilbur Wilde.

Skyscraper Stan – The Palais, Hepburn Springs on August 13

Troubadour rock and roller Skyscraper Stan is currently working on his third album, due for release later in the year. Will you hear something new? 

Bret Mosley – Aireys Inlet Hotel, Aireys Inlet on August 13   

Bret Mosley has been a ranch hand, a fur trapper and a computer programmer among his 1001 careers. The Texas-born, NYC-native also plays a mean slide guitar.

Qais Essar – Volta, Ballarat on August 14

Afghan-American Qais Essar is a rabab master, the lute-like national instrument of Afghanistan. His most recent album is The Ghost You Love Most.   

Sam Teskey – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine on August 18

Allowing the chance to express ideas that didn’t quite jam with The Teskey Brothers, Sam Teskey released his debut solo album, Cycles, last year. 

Sally Seltmann – The Bridge, Castlemaine on August 18

Singer-songwriter Sally Seltmann released her first album under the New Buffalo moniker in 2004. Under her own name, she has just dropped Early Moon

Running Touch – The Geelong Hotel, Geelong on August 19

Carmine is the colour of passion, rage, love, lust, fear and fury; it is also the debut album from Matthew Victor Kopp, known as Running Touch. 


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Bench Press – The Bridge, Castlemaine on August 19 (Postponed from August 5)

Who knows for sure what the one-rep max would be for Bench Press, but that matters little as the shouty post-punk outfit is set to fire up alongside K5. 

Slide My Way – Barwon Club, Geelong on August 19

Slide My Way continue to kick out jams that mix guitar-driven rock with catchy pop-rock choruses, while not being afraid to throw in a solid cover in their live show. 

The Dreggs – Torquay Hotel, Torquay on August 19

Between a date with Splendour in the Grass and heading abroad for a Europe/UK tour, The Dreggs are as keen as mustard to perform at some old favourites. 

Ukulele Death Squad – The Bridge, Castlemaine on August 20

There perhaps exists no instrument as grand as the ukulele, and only those with the most nimble of fingers can master its greatness. Enter Ukulele Death Squad. 


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IKON – Major Tom’s, Kyneton on August 20

While often on tour in Europe during winter, dark alternative outfit IKON are instead headlining gothic festivals in Melbourne and shows in Kyneton. 

The Black Sorrows – Macedon Railway Hotel, Macedon on August 20 

With the release of Saint Georges Road last year, The Black Sorrows released their nineteenth album, while Joe Camilleri raised his bat to fifty albums. 

Keaper – Volta, Ballarat on August 20

Keaper released their sophomore EP Fade earlier in the year, for which the band was kind enough to create a poetic visual piece to help bring it to life. 

Liz Stringer – Queenscliff Town Hall, Queenscliff on August 20

Following a North America and European tour with Midnight Oil, Liz Stringer returns to woo the music world with her recent release, First Time Really Feeling


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Michael Plater – Northern Arts Hotel, Castlemaine on August 20

UK-based Australian multi-instrumentalist Michael Plater returns to Castlemaine for the first time in several years with his bag of experimental, folk, psyche, indie and noir. 

Xibalba & friends – The Eastern, Ballarat on August 25

A Southern California band, an Aussie band and a New Zealand band walk into a room. It’s on like Donkey Kong with hardcore punk outfit Xibalba, Honest Crooks and Saving Grace. 

Huxton Creepers – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine on August 26

Formed in 1984 and disbanded in 1989, Huxton Creepers were part of a new generation of punchy power pop and ‘60s-inspired rock. Take a trip back to your glory years. 

GRIM – The Eastern, Ballarat on August 26

Sludge metal/hardcore punk outfit GRIM are cutting sick in Vic, and they’re bringing along Endless Bore, Good Time Aussie Bogalars and Bush Wizard for the ride. 

Baker Boy – Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo on August 26

With a showing at 2021’s AFL Grand Final, Yolngu artist Baker Boy’s star power continues to rise as he hits the road for his first headlining regional tour.  

The Vanns – Geelong Hotel, Geelong on August 27

Whether it’s selling out a capital city tour or clocking up millions of plays of their ‘Hey, Ma’ Like a Version cover, there’s not a lot The Vanns can’t do.  


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Richard Clapton – Macedon Railway Hotel, Macedon on August 27 

An iconic name in the Australian music industry, Richard Clapton released a covers album of equally grand names last year titled Music is Love (1966-1970).  

Sionnach Rua’s Great Irish Songbook – The Palais, Hepburn Springs on August 27

Irish-born and bred songman Gallie is behind Sionnach Rua’s Great Irish Songbook, a music and story catalogue that will make you feel like you’re in the heart of Ireland. 

Drencher Festival – Barwon Club, Geelong on August 27

Get wet with the hard-hitting sounds of Remains, I Am Duckeye, Vexation, System of a Don’t, Strange Unit, Deadweight 80, The Archanan, Mortuary Sickness and Get Rekt. 

Bendigo on the Hop – Various locations, Bendigo on August 27

Indie brewers from around the country will set up shop in Bendigo to showcase their beers in various bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants at Bendigo Beer’s flagship event. 

Frenzal Rhomb – Volta, Ballarat on August 27

Frenzal Rhomb are nearing the end of their Gone to the Dogs tour; a tour, which despite its name, has not gone to the dogs at all. 


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Adam Brand – Corio Hotel, Corio on August 27

A healthy selection of his greatest hits, plus new single ‘All or Nothing’, will be on offer when 12-time Country Music Award-winner Adam Brand takes to the stage.  

Juan Alban – The Bridge, Castlemaine on August 28

While many love him as the former frontman of Epicure, just as many love him for his solo craft. Resentments Central is his most recent album.  

Shaun Kirk – Old Church on the Hill, Bendigo on August 30

Songman Shaun Kirk made a triumphant return to stages, selling out his Worth the Weight tour post-COVID. ‘Holding onto Hope’ is his new single.

Thirsty Merc – Volta, Ballarat on August 31

Throw another shrimp on the barbie because Thirsty Merc have dropped Celebration, a covers album of some of Australia’s best-known (and not so known) tracks.  


Geelong Arts Centre announce brave, bold and creative recipients for this year’s Creative Engine grants

After a challenging couple of years for regional artists, the Geelong Arts Centre has unveiled the six local recipients of this year’s Creative Engine grants which once again aim to benefit artists and creatives working in the region, in their pursuit to develop fresh, innovative, and exciting work.

Now in its third year, the grants, both financial and in-kind studio access within the arts centre’s landmark Ryrie Street building valued at over $50,000, directly benefit individuals and organisations who demonstrated the desire and ability to drive bold and exciting contemporary arts practice and performance.

The key takeaways

  • Geelong Arts Centre has unveiled the six recipients of this year’s Creative Engine grants
  • Equating in $50,000 in financial grants and in-kind occupancies within the centre’s landmark Ryrie Street building, these grants will directly benefit creative individuals and organisations in the region.
  • The next round of grants is due to be announced early next year

Keep up with the latest in local news via our website.

Since its inception, Creative Engine has awarded 29 grants. The calibre and variety of submissions in this latest round was outstanding, with the selected projects spanning multiple artistic disciplines, including cabaret, theatre, audio-visual art, and contemporary dance, but share in common their ability to meet the program’s three selection criteria: Connection, Innovation and Thoughtfulness.

Ignition grants – designed for projects that are in the early stages of creation and need support in transitioning from creative development to prepare for presentation – were awarded to Breasts Become Her, a solo cabaret show written and performed by Miss Cairo, where a queer transgender cabaret artist of colour which poses the question: At what point am I considered a woman?; and to Christian Cavallo’s The Mentor. The Mentor is Amanda Redfern: a one-time Hollywood star whose life has spiralled in later years. When she begins tutoring young actor Jordan Ridley, the two discover a vastly different set of perceptions across themes of sexism, ageism, respect, consent, and mental health; their methodologies as actors fuelled by vastly different lived experience.

These recipients were awarded $5000 alongside in-kind studio access and mentoring opportunities.

Applications open for Geelong Arts Centre’s Creative Engine grants, designed for local creatives with bold ideas

Providing $1000 cash grants and access to in-kind studio for innovative concepts to play and explore ideas further, the Jump Start grants were awarded to two amazing concepts.

The first is The World According to Dinosaurs from Belle Hansen. The World According to Dinosaurs is an interrogation of globalism through the lens of paleontology, world events and what we had for dinner last night. A culmination of the stories we tell ourselves about existence. Fact, fiction, wives’ tales, white lies, myths, learnt behaviours, common misconceptions – it’s all part of the human narrative.

The second is Project Connect from Stacey Carmichael, which asks how do we connect to others? Has this changed given the current global climate? How do we connect as artists to explore concepts and ideas? What is that point of connection where our different art forms and artistic expressions meet? Using group devised theatre processes and assembling a group of creatives from varying artistic backgrounds and training; Stacey aims to bring together a group of theatre makers to use these questions as a launching point for exploration and play!

The last round of grants come under the Place to Make initiative, designed to offer a testing ground for creatives and companies to sample and refine ideas.

These grants were awarded to Marta Elizabeth Lopez’ Geelong Latin American Movement and Caroline Meaden’s Mouse In The Room. Representing the Geelong Latin American community through stage, theatre performances and audio-visual art at PAKO FESTA, Marta aims to be the catalyst for creating interest from other organisations to support the continuity of her group’s projects at large and, in turn, be able to initiate the creation of other art projects, while Mouse In The Room will see Caroline will continue developing her practise at the intersection of dance, language, and acting, alongside 5 dancer/collaborators, building on ideas seeded during a 2021 Creative Engine residency.

“There is nothing we love more at Geelong Arts Centre’s Creative Engine than watching the early seeds of local projects develop and flourish,” says Geelong Arts Centre Head of Programming, Penny McCabe.

“We have so much creative talent connected to our region, and we are thrilled that these grant recipients will not only receive project-specific support, but also join a community of like-minded creatives who will have a lasting impact on their broader artistic practice.”

In 21/22 Geelong Arts Centre’s Creative Engine provided over $80,000 of cash contributions to artists to pay them to spend time on their new creative work.

Playing a pivotal role in the continuation of the arts in uncertain times, the Geelong Art Centre’s Creative Engine (a co-working space and eponymous arts development program) was introduced in October in 2019 with a primary directive to support individuals and artistic collectives and build sustainable arts practices within regional Victoria.

Geelong Arts Centre’s Creative Engine will continue to offer regular grant rounds to invest in emerging projects produced by those with a strong connection to the Greater Geelong region, with the next due to be announced early next year.

You can find out more about the grants and these specific projects via the Geelong Arts Centre website

Australia’s first Drag Expo arrives in Melbourne this weekend for a celebration of everything drag

Yaaass Queens… it’s time to grab those lashes and dust off those wigs. 

Appearing at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre this weekend from August 5 to 7, this weekend-long convention is complete with a plethora of panels, tutorials, chill-out spaces, fabulous shopping stores, runways with Q&A sessions, meet and greets, official merchandise, a drag market and more.

Brought to Melbourne by InThe Dark (ITDEVENTS), the LGBTQI+ production powerhouse behind Drag Race Tours in Australia, NZ & Asia, this event provides an exciting opportunity to meet the stars of RuPaul’s Drag Race, learn about how drag has evolved over the years and see legends of Australian drag and learn their inspiring stories.

The key takeaways

  • Australia’s foremost celebration of drag is coming to Melbourne
  • It’s a weekend-long exploration of everything drag, kitsch and pop culture
  • Drag Expo takes place from August 5 – 7

Keep up with the latest entertainment news and events in the region here

The event kicks off with a two hour long extravaganza of an Opening Gala on August 5, featuring fabulous shows from all their major international and local Drag talent.

Across Saturday and Sunday is when the main event takes place. With main stage performances, panels to attend and new friends to meet, this is the perfect expo for any drag artist or fan of drag.


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But it’s not all glitz and glamour at Drag Expo – from technical tucks to mental health, there will be no topic left untouched over the two days.

The program is full to the brim of heaps of iconic drag artists. This year, meet RuPaul’s Drag Race and Drag Race Down Under stars Detox, Art Simone, Etcetera Etcetera, Maxi Shield, Jasmine Masters, Coco Jumbo and Scarlet Envy. They’re joined by a cast of impeccable talent, including winner of Dragula, Vander Von Odd and reigning Miss First Nation 2021, Cerulean.

Witness how Australia has given drag our own special flavour with local talents such as Max Drag Queen, Michelle Mayhem, Diva Attenbra, Stacy Queen, Ellawarra, Ruby Slippers, Beverly Kills and The Fabulous Wonder Mama.

Find out more, or grab your tickets to the upcoming Drag Expo by heading here.

The winners of the 2022 AIR Awards have been announced, celebrating the success of Independent Aussie music

The 2022 AIR Awards were held live and completely in person last night, Thursday August 4th, for the first time in 2 years, to celebrate the success of the Australian Independent Music sector, with performances from Jesswar, Telenova, Teenage Joans, Jaguar Jonze, and Andrew Swift.

Dylan Lewis, winner of I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here 2022 and long-time AIR Awards Master of Ceremonies, was joined by Jessica Braithwaite as co-host for another great night. Genesis Owusu owned the night with 3 trophies for Best Independent Hip Hop Album or EP, Independent Album of the Year and Independent Song of the Year for Smiling With No Teeth.

And the winners of the 2022 AIR Awards are …

  • Best Independent Label – I Oh You
  • Independent Album of the Year – Genesis Owusu, Smiling With No Teeth 
  • Independent Song of the Year – Genesis Owusu, ‘Smiling With No Teeth’
  • Best Independent Soul/RnB Album or EP – Emma Donovan & The Putbacks, Under These Sheets
  • Best Independent Country Album or EP – Felicity Urquhart & Josh Cunningham, The Song Club
  • Best Independent Blues and Roots Album or EP – Liz Stringer, First Time Really Feeling
  • Best Independent Pop Album or EP – Big Scary, Daisy 
  • Best Independent Rock Album or EP – Courtney Barnett, Things Take Time, Take Time
  • Best Independent Classical Album or EP – Genevieve Lacey / Marshall McGuire, Bower
  • 2022 Outstanding Achievement Award (Sponsored by Merlin) – Warren Costello
  • Breakthrough Independent Artist of the Year (Presented by PPCA) – Telenova
  • Best Independent Dance or Electronica Album or EP – Flight Facilities, Forever
  • Best Independent Dance, Electronica or Club Single – SHOUSE, Love Tonight (David Guetta remix)
  • Best Independent Jazz Album or EP – Hiatus Kaiyote, Mood Valiant
  • Best Independent Punk Album or EP – Amyl and the Sniffers, Comfort to Me
  • Best Independent Heavy Album or EP – Wolf & Cub, Dusk at the Watagan Forest Motel
  • Best Independent Children’s Album or EP – The Wiggles, Lullabies With Love


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AIR CEO, Maria Amato commented – “Congratulations to all the nominees and winners tonight. It was great to come together to celebrate the success of the vibrant and resilient indie sector! We thank the South Australian department of Industry, Innovation and Science, the Music Development office, Tourism SA and Events SA for being our major sponsor and extend thanks to our supporting partners and label members for their continued support.”

Find out more about the AIR Awards by heading here.

Little Creatures Geelong launch new alcoholic Ginger Beer tonight and are giving away 100 free beers to celebrate

If you’re anything like us, after a long week at work there’s nothing better than kicking back with a few beers at your favourite bar.

Well, thanks to Little Creatures Brewery, a business that continually pushes the boundaries on flavour combinations and creative collaborations, you could be sinking a free pot of beer to kick off your Friday.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around the region here

That’s right, Little Creatures are hosting a launch party for their new Ginger Beer in the Geelong Canteen this Friday, August 5, from 5pm.

That’s right Little Creatures are making a Ginger Beer! A popular non-beer option for customers, alcohol ginger beer has shot to the top of the charts with breweries all over the world offering an option and now Little Creatures are adding their own touch with a delicious new brew.

Great over ice with lime, the LC Ginger Beer is tangy, spicy, aromatic, acidic, sour and floral. There are many ways to describe Ginger, but how does Beer sound?

With 100 free pots of Ginger Beer from 5pm, some paired goodness (free!) fresh from the kitchen and music, there’s no better way to start the weekend!

Check out the event here.

You can book a table here

Alex The Astronaut breaks Australian record with highest altitude live performance in an Aussie city

Alex The Astronaut has officially taken her music to new heights, becoming the first artist ever to perform live at the peak of the SkyPoint climb on top of Australia’s tallest building – the Gold Coast’s Q1.

The pop-up performance for SPRINGTIME, the Gold Coast’s new 100% free music festival, also sets a new record for the highest altitude performance in an Australian city, with Alex The Astronaut performing her brand-new single ‘Ride My Bike’, at Skypoint on the Q1 building, which stands 322m tall.

Keep up with the latest music news, releases and interviews here.

While countless adventurous travelers have made the one-of-a-kind climb to the top of the iconic SkyPoint, which offers stunning 360-degree views of the Gold Coast region including the golden beaches, city skyline, and lush green hinterland, the performance from Alex The Astronaut marks the only time that an artist has been given permission to play live at the very peak of the tower.

What the performance lacked in physical size – with the platform measuring just 7 meters wide and 3 meters deep – the special acoustic performance of ‘Ride My Bike’ well and truly made up for it in passion and beauty overlooking the spectacular Surfers Paradise coastline. Just phenomenal.

Produced by Major Events Gold Coast, the pop-up SPRINGTIME performance at SkyPoint was several months in the making and marked an important moment for the Gold Coast music scene, which is quickly becoming one of the country’s biggest music cities.

“I can’t believe how much has gone into making this unique project happen, and I’m honoured to have been asked to participate. I have never done anything like this before. It’s just so cool,” said Alex.

“It was terrifying at first, but if you didn’t look down, you were okay. I felt like a human drone looking down on the ocean, and we even saw some dolphins. It was an amazing experience.

“It was strange being over three hundred meters above the SPRINGTIME Festival site and thinking, ‘I’m going to be playing down there in September!'”

The new single, ‘Ride My Bike’, follows the release of the artist’s phenomenal new album ‘How To Grow A Sunflower Underwater’.

Backed by unparalleled views of the eastern coastline, Alex The Astronaut’s performance became the unofficial first set for SPRINGTIME, the Gold Coast’s newest 100% FREE, three-day music festival, which kicks off in less than a month.

Held on the first weekend of September (2-4 September), SPRINGTIME will see more than just incredible live music landing in Surfers Paradise. Connecting the festival’s two beach stages, will be the SPRINGTIME Skate Plaza hosting some of Australia’s top skaters showcasing their skateboard wizardry on fun purpose-built obstacles along the foreshore.

Australian and New Zealand skaters including Tommy Fynn, Nixen Osborne and Mike Lawry will be unleashing on custom planter boxes, ledges, kickers, china banks and slappy curbs alongside plenty of local talent.

Live mural painting will add a splash of colour to Surfers Paradise with festival goers able to watch on in real time as local artists paint their version of SPRINGTIME.

Tickets for SPRINGTIME Festival do not go on sale, because this is a free event! Book a flight, book a room and join us on the Goldy for a long weekend of great Australian music. Find out more here

Macklemore, TLC, Akon headline Fridayz Live for epic Australian RnB tour

Same vibe, new name. RNB Fridays presents: Fridayz Live with Macklemore, TLC, Akon and many more. Ready to bring Australia’s greatest touring concert in the Southern Hemisphere once again to fans across the country. After a two-year hiatus, they evolve as Fridayz Live for their fifth instalment, featuring 10 of the biggest names performing hip-hop, RNB and party hits from the 90s to now. Save the date, assemble your crew, and picture yourself partying to endless bangers live in the flesh this November.

Fridayz Live will hit Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney for one night only this November.

Keep up with the latest music news, releases and interviews here.

Fridayz Live 2022 November lineup

Craig David
Jay Sean
Dru Hill
Havana Brown
Resident Dj Yo! Mafia
Hosted By Abbie Chatfield & Fatman Scoop

Fridayz Live Australian tour dates and venues

Friday 4 November
Rod Laver Arena | Melbourne
On sale: Friday 12 August (11am local time)

Saturday 5 November
HBF Park | Perth, WA
On sale: Friday 12 August (11am local time)

Sunday 6 November
Adelaide Entertainment Centre Arena | Adelaide, SA
On sale: Friday 12 August (11am local time)

Friday 11 November
Brisbane Showgrounds | Brisbane, QLD
On sale: Friday 12 August (11am local time)

Saturday 12 November
GIANTS Stadium | Sydney, NSW
On sale: Friday 12 August (11am local time)

The all-star line-up for Fridayz Live will deliver endless hits from when doors open until the last confetti drops, expect crowd favourites ‘Can’t Hold Us’ ‘Thrift Shop’, ‘Glorious’, ‘Same Love’, ‘Creep’, ‘Waterfalls’, ‘No Scrubs’, ‘I Wanna Love You’, ‘Right Now (Na Na Na), ‘Smack That’, ‘7 Days’, ‘Walking Away’, ‘What’s Your Flava’, ‘Baby’, ‘Rock Wit U (Awww Baby), , ‘Angel’, ‘It Wasn’t Me’, ‘Boombastic’, ‘I’m All Yours’, ‘Down’, ‘Do You Remember’, ‘In My Bed’, ‘Never Make A Promise’, ‘How Deep Is Your Love’, ‘Never Leave You (Uh Oooh, Uh Oooh)’, ‘We Run The Night’ & ‘Be Faithful


Multi-platinum and Grammy award winning artist Macklemore has made history with a combination of commercial success, critical acclaim and international appeal, with a total of 12.8 BILLION combined streams to date, Macklemore is one of the most successful independent artists of the 21st century. Witness American rapper and Seattle native Macklemore performing hit singles ‘Glorious ft. Skylar Grey’ (ARIA 8x Platinum), ‘Marmalade ft. Lil Yachty’ and ‘Good Old Days ft. Kesha’ (ARIA 4x Platinum) from his 2017 ARIA Gold album Gemini (ARIA Gold). Known for some of the biggest hip-hop releases of the past decade, including ‘Thrift Shop ft. Ryan Lewis & Wanz’ (ARIA 13x Platinum), ‘Can’t Hold Us  ft. Ryan Lewis & Ray Dalton’ (ARIA 11x Platinum) and ‘Same Love ft. Mary Lambert’ (ARIA 6x Platinum), he skyrocketed to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts in the 2010s and cemented a name for himself on the global rap stage. Back now with his latest single ‘Chant ft. Tones And I’, don’t miss Macklemore when he headlines Fridayz Live in 2022.


Best-selling girl group TLC are one of the most influential groups of all time, scoring nine top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including four number-one singles ‘Creep’, ‘Waterfalls’, ‘No Scrubs’ and ‘Unpretty’. The trio racked up four multi-platinum albums, including Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip (1992), FanMail (1999)3D (2002) and Crazysexycool (1994), which reached Diamond certification in America with over 15 million copies sold worldwide. The iconic legends recently performed at Glastonbury UK which included their hits ‘No Scrubs’ and ‘Waterfalls’.  Don’t miss one of the world’s all-time greatest girl groups performing live on stage.


The one, the only, Mr Lonely aka Grammy-nominated producer and artist Akon will bring his sultry rich hits to the Fridayz stage this November. Notorious for his passionate and provocative lyrics and hypnotic beats, Akon will heat up the bump n grind on the dance floor with favourites ‘I Wanna Love You ft. Snoop Dogg’, ‘Right Now (Na Na Na)’, ‘Don’t Matter’, ‘Bananza (Belly Dancer)’ and ‘Smack That ft. Eminem’. Get your crew together and don’t miss out on partying with one of New Jersey’s finest!

Craig David

With over 9 million album sales worldwide, Fridayz Live welcomes back British superstar Craig David.  Rising to stardom with his 1999 instant UK garage classic ‘Re-rewind’ and debut album Born To Do It, the 14x Brit Award and 2x Grammy nominated singer-songwriter-DJ-vocalist will bring his energetic live set and ‘flava’ to the Fridayz Live stages.   With 25 UK top 40 singles, nine UK top 40 albums and over 5 billion streams worldwide, Craig has collaborated with everyone from Sting to Diplo and has released iconic hits including ‘7 Days’, ‘Walking Away’, ‘What’s Your Flava’ and recent singles, ‘Who You Are & MNEK’, ‘G Love (feat Nippa)’, ‘DNA with Galantis’ all from his forthcoming new album 22 (out Sept 30 BMG).


America’s sweetheart, Ashanti, will return to our shores this November and melt audiences across Australia with heartfelt jams ‘Baby’, ‘Rock Wit U (Awww Baby)’ and Billboard #1’s ‘Foolish’ and ‘What’s Luv ft. Ashanti’ (the iconic Jay Rule x Fat Joe collab!). Boasting multiple platinum albums, numerous Billboard Awards and a Grammy to boot – don’t let go of your boo when Ashanti slides onto the Fridayz Live stage.


Diamond-selling dancehall and reggae icon Shaggy joins the class of 2022 with his beloved hits, ‘Angel ft. Rayvon’, ‘It Wasn’t Me ft. Rikrok’, ‘Boombastic’ and TikTok trending sensation ‘Banana (feat. Shaggy) [DJ  FLe – Minisiren Remix]’ which amassed the #bananadrop challenge. He most recently released the album, Com Fly Wid Me, The Sinatra Songbook Inna Reggae Style, produced by Sting, which features the single ‘That’s Life’. The Grammy Award winner will turn up the spice on the Fridayz Live dance floor as soon as his hits pump through the speakers. Shaggy is managed by Martin Kierszenbaum, Cherrytree Music Company.

Jay Sean

Cultural Icon and Pop Star, Jay Sean will bring himself and his pantheon of hit songs Down Under this November.  Jay Sean was the first Asian in history to have a US Billboard #1, the first British Urban artist to have a US #1 and the first Indian artist to have 5 consecutive top 40 hits in America.  Sean will treat fans to hits like ‘I’m All Yours’, ‘Down ft. Lil Wayne’, ‘Do You Remember ft. Sean Paul & Lil Jon’ and of course the global remix smash of ‘Ride It’ (which continues to blow up across all social media platforms with the Regard Remix).  Expect brand new music before the tour kicks off!  Bringing his contagious energy to Fridayz Live in 2022, don’t sleep on tickets!

Dru Hill

Formed in 1992 as ‘14K Harmony’, the American R&B powerhouse group evolved becoming Dru Hill in 1996 and would go on to engraving themselves into the legacy of R&B, soul and hip-hop.  In honour of their 30th anniversary in the music industry, Dru Hill is featuring all members of the group, past and present, for a night to remember!  Expect hits ‘In My Bed’, ‘Never Make A Promise’ and ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ and the iconic Will Smith ‘Wild Wild West ft Dru Hill, Kool Mo Dee’. Saddle up for a night to remember!


Bringing her vigorous charm and soulful tunes to the Fridayz Live stage is American rapper and songstress Lumidee. Unapologetic in her emotive lyrics and spellbinding rhythms, Lumidee will have crowds swaying to the beat on tracks ‘She’s Like The Wind ft. Tony Sunshine’, ‘Dance (Lumidee vs Fatman Scoop)’ and certified banger ‘Never Leave You (Uh Oooh, Uh Oooh)’. Don’t miss the starlet’s debut to Australian audiences this November!

Havana Brown

Mega hits include the four consecutive Billboard #1 Hot Dance Club Songs ‘We Run The Night ft. Pitbull’ (ARIA 3x Platinum), ‘Warrior’ (ARIA 2x Platinum), ‘Big Banana ft. R3hab & Prophet (ARIA Gold)’ and the lead single ‘Flashing Lights’ off her debut studio album of the same name. Brown has toured with the world’s biggest Pop and R&B stars, including Rihanna, The Pussycat Dolls, Britney Spears, Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull and Bruno Mars, and in 2022 brings her electric energy and party anthems to the Fridayz Live stage!

Fridayz Live DJs and hosts


No Fridayz Live event would be complete without international party DJ YO! MAFIA keeping the tradition spinning with the latest and greatest RNB hits in-between these epic live performances, from the minute doors open until the last mic drops!

Abbie Chatfield

Abbie Chatfield is a force to be reckoned with. Australia’s ‘it’ girls joins the Fridayz Live party in 2022, captivating the crowd with her tongue-in-cheek banter and lovable charisma. Teaming up with fan favourite Fatman Scoop in hosting duties – this dynamic duo will have audiences beaming from the moment gates open.

Fatman Scoop

International President of Party, Fatman Scoop makes his fifth consecutive return to Fridayz Live. Sharing hosting responsibilities with Abbie Chatfield on all five shows, the ‘Be Faithful’ ultimate hype man will be sure to keep crowds on their toes.

The Telstra Plus pre-sale begins on Monday 8 August 10am local time.  Frontier Members pre-sale kicks off Wednesday 10 August 1pm local time before the General Public on sale Friday 12 August 11am local time.  Tickets via:

Josh Pyke announces regional tour dates for 2022 with Hayley Mary

Following his national tour this June and July, Josh Pyke will be showcasing his astonishing talent for nostalgic songwriting, wistful melodies and moving harmonies as he brings his tour and album ‘To Find Happiness’ to a swathe of regional towns across Australia. 30 to be exact.

The tour kicks off in Hepburn Springs on Friday, October 14, then hits up Queenscliff on October 15 and Ballarat on October 16, before taking to Belgrave, Frankston, Healesville, San Remo, Mornington, alongside a whole lot of other regional towns across the entire country.

Keep up with the latest music news, releases and interviews here.

Since breaking out to widespread success with the release of debut album Memories and Dust in 2007, ARIA Award winner Josh Pyke has cultivated a strong community of supporters around Australia and beyond.

Testament to his authentic and deep-set connection to the craft of music and its uniting appeal, each record Pyke has released in the years since have brought him closer to his fans, while his profile has elevated to being one of the most beloved and respected Australian songwriters of the last decade.

With six acclaimed albums under his belt and after the success of 2020’s aria nominated Rome album, Pyke latest album To Find Happiness – featuring the singles The Hummingbird (Ft. Gordi), Your Heart Won’t Always Weigh a Tone and Circle of Light – shows creativity has long extended well beyond.

As part of the tour, Pyke will be joined by the unshakable elegance and undeniable talent of Hayley Mary (of The Jezabels) as a support act.


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You can check out all the tour dates and purchase tickets to Josh Pyke here

Lifestyle emporium Torquay Merchant is hosting a massive two-day warehouse sale

Enjoy massive savings on children and baby outfits, women’s clothing, shoes and potentially homewares at this exclusive two-day warehouse sale.

Torquay Merchant, the most perfect edit of clothes, jewellery, homewares and so much more, is having their biggest-ever sale.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around the region here

Located in Baines Crescent, Torquay Merchant is a curated, lifestyle emporium by mother and daughter team Suzzanne Roberts and Kara Faganel, who are passionate about achieving their vision to offer mindfully selected and ethically sourced distinctive wares such as fashion labels (both women and children), lifestyle and homewares from local and more widely sourced creatives and artisans.

Torquay Merchant offers a diverse range of living and design style allowing you to source ‘ your life and living style’ within a welcoming environment that is enhanced by the delicious aroma of fragrant coffee and treats from the in house Torquay Merchant Coffee Bar.

A destination space filled with beautiful goods, both large and small, that are a delight to the heart, body and home, now the store is throwing this massive warehouse sale on Friday, August 5 and Saturday, August 6.

Taking place at their warehouse (not their store), it’s a rare opportunity to shop exclusive brands at a discounted price, including Kip and Co, Ena Pelly, Zulu and Zephyr, Arcaa, Kinga Csilla, Friend of Audrey, Veja, Oak Meadow, Goldie and Ace, Alias Mae, Society of Wanderers and Rowie The Label, just to name a few.


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The warehouse sale takes place at 2/11 Cylinders Drive, Torquay (opposite carpet court) on Friday, August 5 from 9:30am-3:30pm, and Saturday, August 6 from 9am-2pm.

Cash only, BYO bags.

Check out the latest from Torquay Merchant here

Superstar Melbourne Chef Guy Grossi is bringing his culinary brilliance to Queenscliff for an epic Italian feast

Hospitality royalty, Guy Grossi, has joined forces with The Royal Queenscliff and The 18th Amendment Bar Queenscliff to bring you the event of the year on the Queenscliff calendar.

Born and raised in M​elbourne, to migrant parents, Guy’s understanding of hospitality began at home. His parents always provided an abundance of food, celebration and generosity around the family table. Working closely alongside his father, Guy began cooking professionally at a very young age. He continued to hone his skills at some of Melbourne’s most renowned venues before opening his own in Armadale in 1986. Since then, he and his family have successfully owned and run numerous venues contributing to the multicultural fabric of the hospitality industry in Melbourne.

Keep up with the latest local food and booze news here.

Currently operating Grossi Florentino, Ombra Salumi Bar, Arlechin and Garum, Guy and his family continue to provide genuine Italian hospitality experiences for guests across Australia.

The Grossi family have an affection for Queenscliff and all the region has to offer and Guy, who has also penned multiple cookbooks on Italian cuisine, has prepared a generous menu for the event alongside putting his hand up to speak on the day. During the worst of the pandemic, Guy was vocal in his pleas to government on behalf of all small to medium business owners, to take steps to help those businesses survive. Guy will speak on the challenges he faced, the re-emergence and embracing hospitality in our new world.

So let’s talk about this luncheon.

Taking place on August 28 from 1:30, guests will enjoy canapes and a three course lunch featuring paired cocktails from the 18th Amendment Bar and wines. Canapes include pan-fried scallops, served in their half shell with parmesan, lemon zest, parsley and extra virgin olive oil; house-made duck liver parfait, served with sourdough crostini and toasted walnut, thyme sprig; and zucchini fritters with thickened yoghurt, green chilli and mini.

The shared antipasto and pasta include prosciutto and bresaola; late winter marinated vegetables, Fiore di Burrata and pickles; orecchiette cime di rapa with parsley, garlic, lemon zest, basil and pecorino; and baked bleu sourdough bread wheel with extra virgin olive oil.

For mains, slow roasted porchetta with pan jus, lemon and rosemary; roasted John Dory with gribiche, roasted potatoes with lemon peel, rosemary and garlic; Jimmy Salad with winter salad leaves, fresh herbs, simple lemon vinaigrette; and broccolini alla Romana.

To finish, dessert will be Tiramisu bar and crostoli.

In addition to this spectacular feast you will also be in the running for a Joan Blond Art painting valued at $6,000.


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Tickets are strictly limited. Find out more here

Here are the local legends nominated for the 2022 Geelong Business Excellence Awards

It’s that inspiring time of the year again!

For years now, the Geelong Business Excellence Awards has been bringing together and spotlighting some of the most creative, innovative and thriving businesses that have achieved business excellence in the Geelong region, along with a great number of dedicated local heroes who support Geelong and its tight-knit and loyal community – and what a community it is!

These Awards are the oldest continuously running business awards programs in Australia, and, as such, provide a significant recognition and celebration of business achievement and performance.

Keep up with the latest in local good news via our website.

This year the Geelong Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with major sponsor, LBW Business + Wealth Advisors revealed that the Geelong Business Excellence Awards received an outstanding 20% increase on total entries compared to previous years.

Whilst not all entrants can proceed as finalists, the process allows all businesses to review and reflect on their business operations and potentially gain valuable insights and identify new key business improvements, a crucial step for any small business.

The finalists in the 2022 Geelong Business Excellence Awards are:

Business Award Finalists

13th Beach Health Services

Accessible Accommodation

Adventure Park Geelong

AMD Hairdressing

Ardour Electrical

Arthur Reed Photos

Bare Skin and Body Clinic

Barwon Occupational Therapy

Bellarine Community Support Register Inc

Bellington Estate

Bree Gorman Consulting

Cabinets by Computer

CentreStage Pty Ltd

Childs Play Early Learning Centre

Coastyle Building Solutions

Corio Village – Retpro

Cottage by the Sea Queenscliff Inc

Cotton On Distribution Centre

Crew Faced Makeup Artistry

Custom Neon

CX Video

del Rios Winery & Restaurant

Doll House Hair Artistry

Engels Floyd & Associates

Enterprise Monkey

Event Kit

Evolution Design Agency

Fit as FX

Five Graces Photography Pty Ltd

Frank n Al Chai

Geelong Ballooning

Geelong Bank

Geelong Insurance Brokers

Geelong Property Hub

Geelong Real Estate Co

Grip 6 Pty Ltd

High Eight Home & Living

Higher Mark – Geelong Cats

HPS Tech

Jibber Jabber Allied Health Pty Ltd

Kardinia International College

Lara Village Dental

Liberty Financial

Life is Worth Living

Master Your Money Now

MultiSkills Training

Pre Loved Geelong


ReOvenise Pty Ltd

Scubabo Dive Victoria

Splatters Cheese Bar

Stylin’ Dogs

Sugar Images

The 18th Amendment Bar

The Proven Group

The Salary Packaging People

The Streets Barbershop

Think Strategic

True South Film

Viewpoint Digital Media

Walker Safety Services

You’re Gorgeous Hair & Beauty

Zacale Pty Ltd (T/A McDonald’s Geelong North, McDonald’s Corio Village and McDonalds Geelong Central)

Business Leader of the Year Finalists

David Greenwood

Diana Taylor

Joe Ormeno

Justin Collins

Maree Herath

Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalists

Cam O’Keefe

Lee-Anne Campigli

Shannon Bowman

The Awards presentation event will take place at GMHBA Stadium on the 27 October 2022. Guests will enjoy a 3-course meal, drinks and entertainment and see 20 awards presented, including the most prestigious accolade, the 2022 Geelong Business of the Year.

Find out more about the event here

Lambys is celebrating its 21st birthday with a mega three-day marathon of Lambys greats, Mario Karts and free entry

Many Geelong residents have spent their 21st birthday partying their way around the deep underground nightclub that is Lambys Tavern. Plenty of us have spent many wild nights out around the milestone date hopping between the downstairs dancefloor, the rave cave and the upstairs mosh, prolonging the merriment for as long as possible, in fact. It’s a G-Town rite of passage.

Now it’s Lambys turn, with the venue hosting a huge three-day marathon this month to celebrate hitting the big two-one.

Indulge in a throwback with 30 things we’ve all done on a night out in Geelong here

“I’ve been going here more than 21 years” “Lambys has been around since the 90s”… we hear you.

While the venue itself is steeped deep in the fabric of Geelong’s history, located underground in that iconic 1870s bluestone building for many years operating as a bar named Lambys, it wasn’t until January 2001 that a true legend was born when the venue was taken over by hotelier Darren Holroyd, the cornerstone of the city nightclub industry at the time.

And while Holroyd and his Geelong Cats legend business partner Cameron Ling are no longer at the helm of this venture (with Dominic Tripodi and Lascombe Pty Ltd. running the iconic ship), it was the new ownership and bold new vision 21 years ago that marked the beginning of the ‘Lambys Tavern’ that we know and love today.

The birthplace of the famed Mario Kart. The home of the Sunday Session. The only place where it was deemed appropriate to smash out Jessie’s Girl until the light of death hits you in the face at close. The place where bouncers and bartenders became friends and the strangers in the bathroom solved all your problems. Lambys is where you’d share a conversation and a drink with the Cats players (or witness Lingy singing You’re The Voice) and lineup to meet the Geordie Shore mainstays. The only place where you’d have no reception and stick to the floor without a second thought.

Becoming the go-to destination to throwback multiple Mario Karts, and dance to Mr Brightside as it came on for the 14th time in one night, the last 21 years have seen Lambys build a strong reputation for providing awesome nights out, host local and international entertainment, become home to thousands of celebrations, serve up a fair share of drinks at the bar, kindle lifelong friendships and relationships, and ignite very fond but hazy memories.


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There’s no doubt, the last 21 years have been massive for Lambys, but life doesn’t start getting real until you turn 21. Shouldering greater responsibility, you don’t get away with as many things as you used to – adulthood has truly begun.

To celebrate the jump from juvenility, Lambys is pulling out all the stops this month for a three-day party of larger-than-life proportions.

Running from Friday, August 12 to Sunday, August 14, Lambys’ 21st Birthday will be presenting a lineup of Lambys legendary bands from years gone by. One of the best things about Lambys has and always will be the live cover bands; the bands who belt out every classic you forgot you loved. Bit of Oasis, Matchbox Twenty, Sneaky Sound System—you know you love it guys, don’t deny it.

With such a milestone to celebrate, Geelong’s pre-eminent watering hole will welcome Test Pilot Molly on Friday, Bedrock on Saturday AND Good Faces 4 Radio on Sunday. Iconic right?

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of hitting up Lambs on a weekend, it’s almost guaranteed you’ve torn up the D-Floor to one of the Lambys greats. They love, we love, and they love that we love it.

“Lambys has been an institution for so many years,” Lee Harding and Bedrock tell us.

“Bands love playing at Lambys because it’s the ultimate gig filled with a massive party atmosphere and amazing staff. We have been blessed to have been playing there for so many years and can’t wait to say THANK YOU by smashing out a massive gig for Lamby’s 21st Birthday!”

Ensuring the vibes are pumping all night long – every single night – Lambys is also putting on an epic lineup of local DJs legends who will be packing in the tunes with the bands. You’ll hear from the likes of Dozza, Boden Mugridge, Hunter Bourke, Daniel Townsend, Agile, Shorty J and Wilso, with some hitting the decks multiple times across the weekend.

In between belting out ‘Don’t Stop Believin” and ‘Brown Eyed Girl’, knocking back a ‘Jam Donut or a ‘Quick Fuck’ and partying with Chops, you can also make the most of an epic photo booth (to make sure you remember this time ’round), indulge in throwback drink specials and take advantage of FREE ENTRY before 10pm each night.

Add in a few (too many) Mario Karts, no reception and a couple of Lambys laps, and it’s a party fit for any Lamb.


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In toast of all the good times we’ve had and great times on the way at this Geelong institution, we say cheers to 21 years of never Lambing alone!

Lambys 21st birthday goes down from August 12 – August 14 2022. You can find out more here

Best Sourdough on the Bellarine: Support your local baker

Baking is skillful enough, but when it requires the maintenance of a LIVING ORGANISM (mother dough) it should be left to the professionals.

With that in mind, it’s time to discover where to find the most lovingly crafted and delicious sourdoughs on the Bellarine.  

Keep up with the latest local food and booze news here.

Ket Baker

The Bellarine is blessed to have Miek Paulus call Wallington home. Having first completed pastry training in Belgium, while travelling France she met Geelong local Stu, and eight years later moved to Australia (thanks Stu!). In 2016 a small all-sourdough operation was opened out of their kitchen garage, but the bakers soon outgrew the space, so in July of 2020 the new Wallington home was open to the public. Whilst sustainability is integral to Ket Baker’s style, quality and taste are just as paramount. Limited batches of high-quality, local produce are baked daily from Tuesday to Sunday every week. Sourdough is definitely the champion here with table loaf, baguettes, and rye bread all on offer. For the sweet tooth (with that sour twang) Ket Baker are masters of the croissant and danish too. 

Address: 377 Grubb Road Wallington, Victoria
Open (or until sold out – check socials): Tuesday-Friday 8am – 6pm
Saturday 8am – 5pm
Sunday 9am – 3pm


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Piknik Café

Alchemy Woodfire Bakehouse started with the restoration of its wood-fired Scotch oven originally built back in 1905. The focus of Alchemy is on the production of naturally leavened, organic breads, pastries and cakes, all from its beautifully restored oven. Since 2014 Alchemy has been producing its organic wares from its Queenscliff address but more recently paired with Piknik Café to offer its produce. The oven is fired up from Wednesday to Sunday, with white sourdough, seeded sourdough, stonegrain sourdough, fruit loaf and baguettes all on high rotation. Escargots and danishes are on offer too, but get in quick! Piknik is also home to house-made jams and preserves, perfect to pair with your fresh loaf.

Address: 1195 Queenscliff Road, Swan Bay, Victoria
Open: Wednesday-Sunday 7am – 230pm


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Starfish Bakery

Starfish Bakery is a ‘salt of the earth’ style operation, wholly dependable, genuine and totally unpretentious. Starfish specializes in handmade sourdough breads, with a range of specialty loaves that are baked fresh daily. Located in the main drag of Barwon Heads, the bakery is family-owned, and has been in operation for more than 20 years (a tell-tale sign that the place is a bona fide OG). The original sourdough on offer is the Casa, a local favourite. Starfish also offers a light rye sourdough, in addition to classic high-tin favourites. To really feel the buzz of this salt-of-the-earth character, pop in on a Saturday morning and enjoy a coffee and something from the menu (make sure its on sourdough!). 

Address: 78 Hitchcock Avenue, Barwon Heads, Victoria
Open: Wednesday-Monday 7am – 3pm (closed Tuesday)


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Little Wings Artisan Bread

TLC is the essential ingredient for all of the tastiest sourdoughs, and at Little Wings Artisan Bread the story is no different. Little Wings is a small, family-run business operating out of Drysdale. Head baker Miriam has been obsessed with perfecting the sourdough for some years. So obsessed, in fact, that herself and her partner David spent time travelling Australia to uncover the best flours and ingredients to use in their bakery – now that’s dedication! The years of trial and error have paid off, with their all-natural sourdough goodies being undoubtedly some of the Bellarine’s best. With a focus on quality, local produce, and sustainability, it’s a win-win-win in our books. Experimentation is the M.O at Little Wings, so expect the unexpected. Some past creations have included French Fougasse, woodsmoked cheddar sourdough, green olive sourdough, and Coopers Stout rye. There is an array of smaller sweet and savoury treats too. Be sure to stock up, because the bakery is only open from Thursday through to Saturday. 

Location: Unit 2/34 Murradoc Road, Drysdale 3222
Open (or until sold out, check socials): Thursday & Friday 9am – 4pm
Saturday 9am – 1pm


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