Motor City Music Festival with Hugo T Armstrong

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Motor City Music Festival with Hugo T Armstrong

When it comes to Geelong’s live music scene, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a man with as much passion and drive for it as Hugo T Armstrong. Aside from being the proprietor and creator of The Blues Train, which just celebrated their 20th year, he’s also the man behind Motor City Music Festival, which is running for the second time in 2015. The Motor City Music Festival has managed to overcome the toughest hurdle of entering the festival scene: being unknown.
“That was one of the biggest challenges – people didn’t know what it would be like. There was some misconception in the market when you mention racecourse or showgrounds and people thought they’d be in a Big Day Out style of event,” Hugo says. “And that was never what we were looking at creating. We were looking at being reflective of Geelong and creating a soundtrack to a good vibe. We wanted to create something that had a niche feel.”
Now that MCMF is known amongst Geelong locals, Hugo and the team have the freedom to change things around and perfect the MCMF brand.
In 2015 Little Creatures will bring their new Geelong-brewed beer Furphy to the festival, more food vans will be on offer, DJs will play at the free carnival rides on Sunday and there will be a dedicated contemporary country stage.
“There’ll still be a strong blues line-up on the Friday and Saturday, and Sunday will have some blues acts, but the hall of agriculture is going to be a dedicated country stage,” he says.
“I can also say we’ve already secured some really big names of contemporary country artists.”
Drinks will be flowing over the three days with an extended choice of beers and ciders, and Jack Rabbit recently signed on for the festival. Pair this with the memorable firework show and they’ve set up the foundations of what can be a truly amazing experience.
“At the end of the day our line-up next year is better, but we don’t want to be a slave to the line-up, we want the event to be the star. People say it’s great as there’s a beer hall, there’s fireworks and great food and it’s not a rip off,” Hugo says.
For Hugo the event become so much more for him than just delivering an accessible, affordable and all-round successful festival to Geelong – he found that he too was creating lifelong memories that he’d take along with him long after the last punter left the festival gates.
“MCMF was the first time I ever took my seven-year-old side of stage with her little headphones on to watch the music. It was really special,” he says.
A similar moment was created for one of the band members of the Glitter Gang, who after a long career playing live, it was the first time their 16-year-old had seen them play.
For Hugo, these moments are what festivals are all about and what they should be remembered for – the memories made with friends and family.
“In the ’70s XXXX beer had a catchcry in QLD for all their advertising campaigns, and it was, ‘The people the places, the mates the faces’. I know it sounds terribly corny, but then when we think about events and festivals, what else does it come down to?” Hugo says.
“It’s about the Aussie mateship. It’s hopefully a really great place; it’s enjoyable, there’s live music, there’s drinks, it’s a good place to hang out, but the end of the day the thing you remember the most is the experience with your friends and family. They’re the enduring things.”
Early bird tickets are available now from
When&Where: Geelong Showgrounds – March 6-8 2015
By Amanda Sherring