BAM is the newest addition to the Victorian music festival calendar

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BAM is the newest addition to the Victorian music festival calendar

Red Square Music, the team behind the Mullum Music Festival and Bello Winter Music, brings their love of music to Bendigo next year. The inaugural Bendigo Autumn Music (BAM) festival will take place across the Easter weekend, April 25 through April 28.
Kicking off its inaugural year on Anzac Day evening, this boutique family-friendly arts and music festival will be presented by Red Square Music, supported by the City of Greater Bendigo on a coming together of live music venues, pubs, community halls, cafes and other unique and interesting spaces to celebrate music and arts within Bendigo’s arts precinct.
Looking to grow Red Square Music, festival director Glen Wright decided to add a third festival to their roster with the same format, this time looking beyond New South Wales and into Regional Victoria.
“Over a five year period, we probably looked at about thirty different locations,” he says. “It’s interesting because there aren’t that many locations that have what we were after and because I’d done it twice before, I had a really good idea of what we were after.”
And Bendigo was it.
“The Ulumbarra Theater is probably one of the main reasons that we have gone with Bendigo. It’s such a spectacular venue, and we wanted that,” he continues. “And there’s The Capital which is another amazing venue along with all the other venues all within one block of each other.
“That’s important for us; it’s important that we produce a festival that is all within walking distance inside this a festival precinct. It’s in this style that there are no gates, port-a-loos, bag searches or endless queues, and no VIP exclusion zones; we try and engage as much of the community as we can.”
With a festival location locked in, the next task was to curate a lineup. Following in the tradition of Red Square Music’s sell out boutique music festivals, Wright says they wanted to create a diverse line-up that spans many genres and includes a generous offering of 30 local and international acts with a little something for everyone.
“It’s a kind of a family enlightened music festival so we look at both emerging music and musicians, but also great career artists,” he explains. “We’re not exclusively guarded by who’s the most popular act at the time, but rather what’s a great lineup?”
“The venues and stages will also be very genre unspecific,” he continues. “In fact, it’s almost jolting to go from one stage to another but that’s kind of its beauty. That’s why in this searched lineup you’ll go from Kurt Vile and the Violators which is very much with the Melbourne music scene kinda thing, to Cash Savage and the Last Drinks, rock’n’roll party starters Jazz Party, and then even to soul jazz with Thando and the deepest of street funk with The Seven-Ups.”
Kurt Vile Press Photo by Jo McCaughey
It’s in the heart of Bendigo where you’ll enjoy sounds from the world’s finest purveyors of post-punk Cretan folk Xylouris White, the incandescent Cash Savage and the Last Drinks, UK’s desert-blues rock goddess Z-Star Delta, the one and only trumpet-playing vocalist and all-around raconteur from The Cat Empire – Harry James Angus, who will be presenting his gospel production, ‘Struggle with Glory’, ARIA award-winning agitator and power-house Deborah Conway & Willy Zygier, as well as three-time ARIA award-winning guitarist Jeff Lang. That’s barely skimming the surface though, with a second lineup announcement to come next month.
Offering music lovers of all persuasions an opportunity to come together and discover new music from around the globe, the country, and local region, BAM also holds a commitment to programming 30 per cent local content.
“I have always thought it’s best to engage the local artists as well and it actually creates a really exciting feeling of support from the local community,” he explains. “The local artists are always really excited about performing; festivals like this are the first step for artists being able to do that, and in turn they’re giving our event its heart and soul which is so important.”
With more news to come shortly, tickets are on sale now for a long weekend away, perfect for immersing yourself in music and arts in the charming city of Bendigo.
This one promises to be a good one – right in the heart of good old Bendigo!
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