Good news for Australia’s longest running blues music venue.
Since its beginning more than 26 years ago, the renowned Blues Train has become an integral part of the Queenscliff Tourism and Victorian Music Industries.
Providing a unique way to enjoy live music on the Bellarine, The Blues Train combines four carefully selected Australian Blues acts, a Bellarine Railway heritage train, dinner and drinks for 200 patrons running Saturday nights 10 months of the year. An experience like none other, it’s a beauty, to say the least.
Having last operated more than a year ago, back in back 2020, the business was brought to its knees as the pandemic ripped through the music industry, and only now are they finding steam again.
The key takeaways
- The Blues Train returns with revival concert series
- The venue has ceased to operate for 13 months due to COVID
- The event dates and artist lineup will be revealed tomorrow, Wednesday, April 14
Announced today by Blues Train’s Founder Hugo T Armstrong, the Queenscliff and the Bellarine’s iconic Blues Train will return to the station for a revival concert series in October, with tickets going on sale to the general public on May 4.
This is a significant milestone for the venue, which proved to be one of the hardest-hit products in Victoria due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with after-effects rippling through the community. In a recent Economic Impact Report donated by Ethos Urban, spending by Blues Train patrons during their stay in the region, on non-Blues Train activities is estimated at $1.73 million annually which is a huge hit to our stunning region.
Naturally, there was no handbook on how to manage such a unique business during a global pandemic. With moments of complete despair and the business suffering significant financial losses, there have also been so many moments of incredible generosity and support received which has given everybody involved the incentive to continue with the business hibernation and the pending revival of Australia’s longest running Blues and Roots music venue, The Blues Train.
“I have been overwhelmed by the support of the community for this product that a group of us started 26 years ago, never envisaging the highs and the lows of the last 13 months,” Armstrong says.
“On the night we closed in March 2020 I said to the staff this will be a case of 1st to leave last to come back! It now appears that was a self-fulfilling prophecy.
“It will be impossible to thank everybody individually however a massive thank you to all the people who have supported us. The challenge is not over yet as we have faced significant financial losses and with the winding up of job keeper, we will need ongoing support to get right through until October when The Blues Train product starts to run again.”
October will take the form of regular trains under the banner The Blues Train Revival Concert Series, thanks to the support from the Borough of Queenscliff and the Melbourne Arts Centre. The event dates and artist lineup will be revealed tomorrow, Wednesday, April 14, with further announcements to come regarding November shows.
Ticket presales will occur from the 14th of April to travel credit voucher holders, gift voucher holders, Go Fund Me campaign donors (campaign is continuing) and to the Blues Train VIP Members List. General sale will occur on Tuesday, May 4 to all members of the public.
Visit the Blues Train website to keep up to date with all the latest info and announcements.