Loch Hart Music Festival brings out the best of the Victorian surfcoast

Loch Hart Music Festival brings out the best of the Victorian surfcoast

Lazy days and happy nights. A place where you can watch the sun dip into the sea while music fills your ears. Where the sea spray will cool you down and the sunset will soothe the soul… sounds like a castle in the sky right?

Well, it’s not… it’s Loch Hart Music Festival, the regional festival returning to the small scenic town of Princetown this Summer for its second edition, where the vibe will be chill, the music will be infectious and the scenery will inspire.

Created as an opportunity to showcase local up-and-coming Australian talent and the very aesthetically pleasing Great Ocean Road (and all its treasures), this year the festival will see local legend Didirri take to the stage.

Born and bred just a stone’s throw from the festival site in nearby Warrnambool, and who just recently returned from a worldwide tour, Didirri is ready to captivate punters with his voice, musicianship, and storytelling as the sun sets over the ocean on the iconic Shipwreck Coast. Didirri’s presence through the combination of voice and lyrics is enough to alter the entire festival’s perspective on what it means to experience live music, making you feel like he was a seasoned performer with decades of knowledge and experience.

Alongside ‘must-see’ act Didirri, music lovers will also be treated to artist-producer Alice Ivy – another of the Victorian Surf Coast’s most celebrated musical exports. With a reputation as one most exciting, rising musical talents in the country, and having performed more than 50 shows worldwide including Australian national tours with Flight Facilities, Vera Blue & The Jungle Giants, SXSW 2018, Falls Festival & Splendour In The Grass, Ivy’s eclectic signature sound spans sample-influenced soul, hip-hop and electronic pop that she brings to life live as a multi-instrumentalist. With a trio of past singles on high rotation at triple j and a reputation for explosive live performances, Alice Ivy is fast becoming recognised as one of Australia’s most versatile and exhilarating artists, and one that is going to captivate punters this November.

We sat down with these two homegrown music legends for a quick chat ahead of the three-day festival.

DIDIRRI

Whereabouts did you grow up?
Warrnambool right by the coast in a little house near Thunder Point.

What was the best part about growing up there?
I love the bushland around there. Some of the bike trails are just incredible, and it’s an amazing place to go and listen to music up around the cliffs there.

Where did you go to watch gigs?
I didn’t really go to gigs as a teenager but I definitely went to the Port Fairy Folk Festival many many times. I remember sitting in the audience and thinking that I would love to do that with my life one day.

What local musicians or bands inspired you as a youngster?
It was always people like Jordie Lane, Shane Howard, Archie Roach or Liz Stringer. Proper storytellers and real community gatherers.

Where do you call home now?
I live in Melbourne, but I mostly live in a suitcase. It’s been such a joy to travel the world doing this.

What do you look forward to most about coming back to the coast?
I love that coastal chill. There’s nothing quite like smelling that air and that bitey cold nose that you get from the beach in the southwest.

Are there any secret spots we should know about? Café’s, bars, surf-breaks?
Merrivale beach is a particularly fantastic one

What are your plans for the rest of the year?
I’ll definitely have new music out. I can’t say much more but I’m excited by what I’m making at the moment, which is a fantastic feeling to have. I’m also playing a bunch of festivals and some supports too, all around Australia.

Who are you most excited to see play at Loch Hart Music Festival 2019?
Forever Son! I have been such a huge fan of their work for a very long time, and the Senegambian Jazz band always put on a great show.

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ALICE IVY

Whereabouts did you grow up?
I grew up in Geelong.

What was the best part about growing up there?
Geelong is super close to water, so after school and during the holidays we would always go to the beach. These days I live in Melbourne, and the Brunswick baths just don’t feel the same.

Where did you go to watch gigs?
The Nash OF COURSE. RIP. I miss it so much and I haven’t found anything that comes close to how good that pub was.

What local musicians or bands inspired you as a youngster?
I used to sneak into very early King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard shows. They were pretty wild, I remember Stu used to climb the roof of the bandroom at the Nash, there were always like 20 people on a tiny stage. They’d have heaps of fun making music and that’s what I wanted to do.

Where do you call home now?
I live in Melbourne.

What do you look forward to most about coming back to the coast?
Getting out of the city! I moved to Melbourne as soon as I finished high school. I spent so much time down the coast growing up in Geelong so I’m just super keen to get out of the city and get a breath of fresh air!

Are there any secret spots we should know about? Café’s, bars, surf-breaks?
I’m no surfer, and I’m not gonna lie I’m pretty out of touch with the bar scene in Geelong these days. But my favourite place to go camping down that way is Cumberland River. I guess that’s not such a big secret these days though.

What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Working on new music, playing a few festivals and I’m probably going to adopt a dog!

Who are you most excited to see play at Loch Hart Music Festival 2019?
Alpine! I’m a massive Alpine fan ever since their first album, so I’m super excited to see a live show, it’s been a few years!

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That’s not all the regional goodness you’ll find at Loch Hart though. Joining Ivy and Didirri, the lineup also boasts the likes of Baked Beans (Ocean Grove), Forever Son (Anglesea), Zuma (Geelong), Chook & Moluck (Geelong), Leslie D. King (Timboon) and Hold // Fire (Birregurra), highlighting the festival’s strong focus on fostering up-and-coming regional artists who are distinctive, exciting and above all, supremely talented. Maybe it’s something about that fresh air that fuels creative masterminds, but we can’t complain.

Beyond the region, the festival will also feature a diverse crop of Australian artists, including bona fide indie-pop darlings Alpine, hip-hop impresario Genesis Owusu, the best and brightest of Melbourne’s world-class indie scene Cousin Tony’s Brand New Firebird and Moaning Lisa, and seasoned festival favourites The Senegambian Jazz Band – just to single out a few!

As showcase of the best new bands making music all over the country, locally-sourced craft beers and culinary delights, comedy, glamping, yoga, arts and crafts and more in the laid back surrounds, Loch Hart Music Festival really is a festival that was created in search of that moment… That moment when you’re listening to some killer tunes, surrounded by your closest friends, the sun is beaming down on your face, you’ve just eaten a glorious meal and you stop and take it all in. That moment when you look around and go “this is the life”.

We love those moments, and this festival promises to provide millions of moments.

Loch Hart Music Festival will return from 15 – 17 November 2019! Tickets are on sale now via www.lochhart.com.

Photos by Dominik Schmarsel