April Festival Guide: From Stars and Bars to the Red Hot Summer Tour

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April Festival Guide: From Stars and Bars to the Red Hot Summer Tour

Stars and Bars
Words by Chester Ogilvie

April festivals are in full swing, here is your guide to the best festivals in regional Victoria this month

If we are to follow the advice of those fine folk in the dentistry profession of brushing our teeth twice daily for two minutes, on average we spend 1460 minutes a year keeping our chompers in tip-top shape. That is roundabout 24 hours. Or, to put it another way, a little over 14 viewings of the 1992 film Sidekicks where Jonathan Brandis stars as a bullied teen who escapes his troubled world by daydreaming of being Chuck Norris’ sidekick.  

According to research commissioned by Brighter (2019), the average Australian spends seven minutes in the shower. This works out to be 2555 minutes a year, or approximately 42.5 hours. Or, to put it another way, a tick over 25 viewings of the 1992 film Sidekicks where Jonathan Brandis stars as a bullied teen who escapes his troubled world by daydreaming of being Chuck Norris’ sidekick and later begins to take unconventional self-defence lessons from the owner of a local Chinese restaurant.    

In a survey conducted by Bathstore, they found men spend an average of 145 minutes per week in the bathroom. This works out to be 7540 minutes a year, or edging towards 126 hours. Or, to put it another way, a little shy of 75 viewings of the 1992 film Sidekicks where Jonathan Brandis stars as a bullied teen who escapes his troubled world by daydreaming of being Chuck Norris’ sidekick and later begins to take unconventional self-defence lessons from the owner of a local Chinese restaurant, ultimately facing his bully in a local karate tournament where he also comes face to face with his hero, and surprise teammate, Chuck Norris.    

Kick your way into these April festivals… 

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

So far this month we’ve already celebrated three major festivals. CresFest is the small town folk and roots fest that is full of zest. It went off with a line-up including AJ & Jenny, Alwan, Anousha Victoire, Archer, The Big Blue Pole Show, Big Tops & Tiny Tots, Bill Gammage, Cath Jamison, The Cherry Pickers, Chutney, Doc Andrew, and The Footscray Gypsy Orchestra.

In Mt Duneed, plenty were in swoon over crooner, and occasional actor, Chris Isaak for A Day On The Green. The line-up was completed with special guests The Mojo Corner, Boy & Bear, Vika & Linda and Ella Hooper. In Ballarat there was an infestation of critters for Rat Fest at The Eastern. Saturday saw Exek, Screensaver, Premium Fantasy and more rock out, and Sunday included Gut Health, Druid Fluids and the Sandy Dish.

Looking forward we have the following fests.

Starrcast Downunder

Ballarat – April 11-14 

He drops the leg, we jump to our feet. Ninety-thousand people count to three 

Merchandise, memorabilia, autographs and photo-ops are all up for grabs at this high-flying, spine-busting, choke-slamming, power-bombing wrestling convention. Your line-up is Bret Hart, Mickie James, Eric Bischoff, Powerhouse Hobbs, Shelton Benjamin, Dalip Singh, Vix Crow, Chris Masters, Tenille Dashwood, Gangrel, Lisa Marie Varon, Mike Rallis, Steph De Lander, Mance Warner, Conrad Thompson and SoCal Val.  

More through https://www.oceaniaprowrestling.com/starrcast 

Strategem Bendigo Winemakers Festival

Rosalind Park, Bendigo – April 13

Take a bottle, drink it down, pass it around 

Legend has it that Dionysus gifted mere mortals the art of winemaking, making it so that the humble grape could be transformed into the heavenly elixir. So raise a glass as the Strategem Bendigo Winemakers Festival returns with its celebration of local wines. More than 100 wines will be available to sample, as well as the usual goodies of great food, entertainment and competitions. 

More through https://www.bendigowine.org.au 


Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne – April 13

Ultra-mega supersonic, ultra-mega for your head 

If electronic is your tonic, Ultra is here for you. Your line-up is Armin van Buuren, Brennan Heart, Carl Cox, Darren Styles, Steve Aoki, Zedd, Anna Tur, Christopher Coe, Jeffrey Sutorius, Juliet Fox, Topic, Will Atkinson, Will Sparks, Achilles, Brent Sparks, Buttons, Darley, Dimatik, Erica Dal, FOVOS, High Up, Jayden Eddy, Kaos, Lance, Macon, MC Naps, Restricted, Rory Marshall, Sammy La Marca, SCNDL, Scott Alert, Short Round, Tay-G, Teddy Cream and William Kiss.  

More through https://ultraaustralia.com/ 

Geelong Pride Film Festival

Pivotonian Theatre & Platform Arts, Geelong – April 18-28

I’ve got a heart full of pride

For the seventh year, the Geelong Pride Film Festival rolls out the rainbow carpet to features and shorts from local shores and abroad. The festival kicks off with Rainbow Shorts, featuring bite-sized films How to Dress Like Me, Joy, Straight on ’til Morning, A Fuckboi Story, A Letter to Her, The Whole World, Good Times and That’s Okay and Seahorse Parents. Other screenings include Polarized, Housekeeping for Beginners, Masquerades of Research, Equal the Contest and Isla’s Way. 

More through https://gpff.ferve.tickets/ 

Metal United Down Under 

Golden Vine Hotel, Bendigo – April 20

Here in Metal Metal Land, nothing ever dies

On the same night, under the same banner, the earth opens up and unleashes the beast that is Metal United Down Under. Your line-up is Suspended Animation, Bentham’s Head, Diminished Reason, Distorta, Van Diemen, Ana and Spacegoat. 

More through https://metal-united-down-under.com.au/ 

Do the Pop

Port Campbell Hotel, Port Campbell – April 20 & 21

Pop, rock, drop and roll 

To borrow from a once tasty but now not quite as tasty snack, once you pop, you can’t stop. And there is a whole lot of popping to do at Do the Pop. Your line-up is Bob Log III, The Meanies, Dr Sure’s Unusual Practice, Willie J & the Bad Books, The Unknowns, Grindhouse, The Monaros, The Maggie Pills, Troubled Minds, My Left Boot, Stepmother, The Miffs, Rockatella, Hot Machine, Street Sweeper, Sargent Baker, Melt, Billiam & the Split Bills, The Refuge and more.  

More through https://www.dothepop.com.au/

Melbourne International Comedy Festival

Melbourne – until April 21

Oh, let your laughter fill the room 

How do you work out the mass of a Red Hot Chili Pepper? Give it a weigh, give it a weigh, give it a weigh now. It is jokes like that that thankfully won’t be heard at the MICF, the comedy festival with the lot. International performers include David O’Doherty, Adam Kay, Ed Byrne, Helen Bauer, Des Bishop, Gabby Anderson, Abby Howells, John Kearns, Alan McElroy, Bec Sandys, Jodie Sloan, Kanan Gill, Ting Lim, Viggo Venn and Urooj Ashfaq. Local performers include Sam Simmons, Aaron Chen, Dane Simpson, Claire Hooper, Anna Dooley, Josh Thomas, Aaron Gocs, Felicity Ward, Akmal, Grace Jarvis, Grace Zhang, Sam Bowden, The Umbilical Brothers, Tom Gleeson and Uma Dobia.     

More through https://www.comedyfestival.com.au 

Stars & Bars Festival

Palling Brothers Brewery, Heathcote – April 26 & 27

Let’s go stargazing, got my heart racing 

It’s the trail blazin’, stargazin’ and hell raisin’ countrified music festival that put Ogdenville on the map. Part mystery bus tour, part winery/brewery tour and part musical concept, it’s a bona fide blast. Your line-up is The Seven Ups, Nathan Seeckts, Riley Catherall, Luke Sinclair, The Drunken Poachers and Grim Fawkner, along with DJ Chunky Love.  

More through https://www.starsandbars.com.au/ 

Koroit Irish Festival

Koroit – April 26-28

We Irish like to party, whener’ we get the chance 

At the Koroit Irish Festival, you don’t have to be Irish but you do have to enjoy a craic. Enjoy the Spud Trilogy (spud picking, peeling and eating competitions), The Koroit Lions Club Op Shop Street Procession, performances from the Christine Ayres School of Irish Dancing and the O’Shea-Ryan Academy of Irish Dance and the always popular Koroit Bakehouse Danny Boy Championship. Your music line-up, meanwhile, is Kellys Wayke, Double Shot Maggie, Madigan’s Wake, The Ferriters, The Seisiun, Maria Forde, Lim Family, Claddagh, Trev, Mel & Mick and Johnny Anscombe & the Rubber Band.  

More through https://www.koroitirishfestival.com.au/ 

B’Rat Festival

The Eastern, Ballarat – April 27

Life is nothing but a fat rat race

It’s the festival that turns the amps up to eleven. So if short-term ear ringing isn’t a problem, brand-new heavy metal festival B’Rat should be right up your alley. Your line-up is Fall and Resist, Distorta, Cosmonaut, Order of Torment, Bush Wizard, Yeah, Sick! and Dhert. 

More through https://theeasternballarat.com.au 

Red Hot Summer Tour

Bendigo Racecourse, Bendigo – April 27

Oh, to the top, we are red hot

Summer may have passed us by, but the Red Hot Summer Tour keeps kicking along in style. Your line-up is Jimmy Barnes, The Living End, Birds of Tokyo, Pete Murray, Kasey Chambers, Mahalia Barnes & the Soulmates and Sam + Sam. 

More through https://www.redhotsummertour.com.au/ 

With so much happening across the month, there’s no excuse to not explore our regions vibrant entertainment offering. For more gig news head to our gig guide