Camperdown Cruise Festival

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Camperdown Cruise Festival

Have you been looking for a chance to slap on some red lippy, throw on a leather jacket and dance until your feet get sore? We had a chat to Camperdown Cruise festival director Arthur on the best spot to do just that.
Hi Arthur, thanks for taking the time out to chat to Forte, how are you and what are you up to at the moment?
Hey there, I’ve been very busy restoring classic cars and organising Rockabilly Festivals.
For those who haven’t heard of the Camperdown Cruise before could you please give us a run down of the event and your involvement?
I am the director of the festival, The Camperdown Cruise Rockabilly Festival. The festival is a four-day international music festival show casing acts from around the world and Australia. There are over 60 trade stalls, classic car shows, Glamour Central for the ladies, six stages, burlesque, Miss Camperdown Cruise pinup competition, a dance comp, dance lessons, fashion parades, Lo Brow art show and so much more.
What first made you decide to create the Camperdown Cruise event?
Eight years ago I invited the Fuelers car club from Ballarat to my restoration shop in Camperdown, 15 cars turned up and the next year 150 cars turned up. The 3rd year I got a rockabilly band and it just grew from that into an international festival.
It’s a pretty great venue/location for the event, do you think that helps add to the vibe?
Camperdown is such a historical town with the historic clock tower and avenue of elm trees. The iconic 1930s theatre is one of the main venues and adds to the feel of stepping back in time. The main street of Camperdown is fenced off and the town is transformed into a village of all things ’50s.
You’ve certainly got a lot happening over the few days, how do you manage to organise it all?
I have a wonderful small team that know what’s what and we make it happen so smoothly for everyone to enjoy the weekend without a hiccup.
There’s even a barber coming down from Hollywood, how did that come about?
Omar Romero is on the WILD Records label ( and has an amazing barber shop (Vinny’s barber shop) in Hollywood. He’ll be cutting hair over the weekend and performing Sunday night to cap the Festival off, Omar’s wife Jenny will also be at the festival as the ladies hair dresser in Glamour Central hosted by my dear friend Candice Deville.
This is by no means your first event, how have past years gone?
The event just gets bigger each year, the past years have been so wonderful making new friends and giving the opportunity to bands from overseas to come to Australia.
What’s your advice to first timers?
Don’t forget your dancing shoes and be prepared to make a whole lot of new friends.
Is there anything that’s a must see/do?
The burlesque on the Sunday is a must do, and we are introducing a dance comp which is going to be a lot of fun. The International bands are also some of the best in the world.
What’s the best thing you’ve heard someone say of the event?
That it’s one of the best festivals in the world, and that’s come from the musicians and people that have travelled the world to other festivals. The venues and the historic town is what people just love to come back to each year.
Thanks again for taking the time out to chat to us. Is there anything you’d like to add before we finish up?
Come along and have fun, dress up or buy a new outfit, have a dance lesson and enjoy the atmosphere.
When&Where: Camperdown – October 23 – 26