There is a common misconception that Geelong lacks a local live music scene. The biggest testament to this statement being inaccurate is the upcoming third anniversary of ‘Jerkfest.’
Jerkfest is a local one-day festival held at the Barwon Club celebrating all things punk, shoegaze and psych featuring a stacked line-up of local bands.
According to primary event organiser Billy Gardner, the state of Geelong’s local scene could use improvement, with its current state being quite under-appreciated.
“It could be worse, but it could be better. It’s pretty great in a lot of ways but it could always use some improving in the sense of getting more venues because that just means more gigs. I feel we need outdoor gigs down here. It used to be really sick how bands used to play at Pako Festa. I think they still get a couple of acts here and there, but it used to be a whole day of live local music but more stuff like that would be sick. As a whole the scenes really good, there is a lot of bands,” Gardner says.
“It’s not really that commercial either, but it’s really cool that people seem to be getting into it. I feel nowadays a lot more people are being attracted to music that is less commercial which is great to see.”
With an awesome line-up featuring the likes of Nun, Terrible Truths, Drug Sweat, The Living Eyes, Gonzo, Baked Beans and many more, it really highlights the talents stemming from Geelong and surrounding areas.
“I think it’s cool to bring more of the Melbourne bands down to Geelong. I feel a lot of the Melbourne bands haven’t really played in Geelong that much so that’ll be great. I know Nun have never played down here so that’ll be super exciting,” he says.
“There is such a cool scene going on in Melbourne – probably one of the best in the world and everyone seems to be saying it. It’s not hidden or anything, it’s pretty obvious worldwide that Melbourne is killing it. So I think more of these Melbourne bands need to play in Geelong more and help expand our scene.”
With the expansion of Jerkfest’s third event, there will be the noticeable inclusion of food. “Al [the festivals other creator] actually contacted one of the guys from Dukes of Deliciousness, who I think is pretty into his cooking so he is going to try test out a Smokey meats BBQ at Jerkfest. It’s American style meats with vegetarian options as well, so it should be great. This years events is shaping up really nicely.”
However, it won’t just be the food vendors trying something new, but also Gardner’s band The Living Eyes (who have previously supported the likes of Thee Oh Sees) will also be premiering some new material.
“It probably looks like we have been pretty quiet because we haven’t played any shows or released anything for ages. But we have actually just finished a record, which is getting mixed and mastered over the weekend, so we’re keeping busy. We will be playing a bunch of new shit, well, new stuff. We had a practise the other night and most of the Jerkfest set is new material so that will be really cool to see how it goes!”
When & Where: The Barwon Club, Geelong – March 25. Tickets available online or on the door.
Written by Alex Callan