The Mane Event Music Festival is the festival giving back to the community

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The Mane Event Music Festival is the festival giving back to the community

Returning for its fourth year running, The Mane Event Music Festival is the local festival giving back to the community. Partnered with the Lions Club, the event this year aims to reach a total fundraising goal of $10,000, which will be donated directly to headspace Geelong.

The festival is the brainchild of directors Jon Gilchrist and Tristan Gall, who after enduring their own battles with mental health, acknowledged the need for a safe space to discuss the topic. Alongside creating this safe space, the event is aimed at raising awareness to combat the growing rate of suicide.

“We [Tristan and I] both had our battles with depression and we just wanted to create a safe space where people could talk about depression and suicide, but also have fun,” says Gilchrist, “What me and Tristan found was that, we didn’t really know what to do and who to turn to, so I guess it [having a safe space] was a really big thing for us. Another important thing we really felt was that we didn’t talk to each other about it, being mates, so we’d like to really promote that you talk to your mates about it, that’s one of our biggest pushes this year.”

Directors Gilchrist and Gall are joined by Mick Ryan, and the three share an immense passion towards music, making the choice of raising awareness for such a cause in the form a music festival, an easy choice.

“We have a passion for music, so it was a no-brainer having a music festival to promote talking about mental health and suicide… I’ve been in The Glitter Gang for about 20 years and I’ve played in various other bands as well. I play in a duo and a few Blues bands over the years, but the Glitter Gang has been my main band. We also have a lot of friends in bands, so we already had a lot of contacts and connections in the Geelong music scene,” says Gilchrist of the choice to make the event a music festival.

The music festival is now a permanent date in Geelong’s music calendar, taking place during Mental Health Week each year.

“We chose that date because it was in the middle of everything, like other festivals that were on during the year, so it didn’t clash with anything. And it just happened to be mental health week. It’s a good build up to the event, because people are already talking about it and thinking about it. It’s a good way to end off mental health week, having a music festival at the end,” he says.

Taking place at The Barwon Club, the one-day event is set for Saturday, October 14. With yet another stellar lineup, widely-known Blues band The Teskey Brothers, will headline the event. Featuring a three-stage setup, there will also be a headline band for each stage, and several different genres on offer.


Boasting a relaxed environment, there will be information and merchandise on hand, to allow for open discussion surrounding mental health and suicide.

“We have a lot of Headspace pamphlets, we have a lot of information that people can collect, if they want to. We also have merchandise people can buy which have Lyons Club and Headspace logos and info on it. During the day, we just want people to come along and have a relaxed vibe, we don’t want to force a message down anyone’s throat,” says Gilchrist.

“We find that people will come and talk to us and open up to us regardless. And they’ll thank us for putting on the event and tell us about their own struggles, so it naturally becomes a safe place where people can talk about this stuff, without anyone forcing it upon them.”

After raising an incredible $8,000 for Headspace Geelong in 2016, event directors have raised the bar this year, with an aim to raise $10,000.

“I think with the line-up we’ve got, we’ve got a good chance of reaching our $10,000 goal. We do need a few more sponsors; we’re always after sponsorship and donations,” he says.

Funds raised will again go towards National Youth Mental Health Foundation, headspace; Geelong branch.

“Headspace target youth and young adults and we just felt that it’s one of the better organisations that are trying to get into the young people’s heads, that it’s something you need to come out and talk about,” says Gilchrist of why they have chosen to award raised funds to headspace.

“They’re also actively involved, they’ve got three clinics around Geelong, they have psychologists and psychiatrists, professionals you can physically go and talk to. They run school programs and indigenous programs as well, they do a lot of work with indigenous youth … And the biggest thing is we can actually keep the money in Geelong, so as long as you donate to Headspace Geelong, it stays in Geelong.”

The guys want to place a particular focus on being there for and supporting your friends, this year. And with this, have made use of a hashtag to get the topic trending.

“We’ve started a hashtag, #matesoncall – just a bit of awareness. So, if you haven’t spoken to your mates, or you notice they’re a bit down, have that conversation with them. See whether they’re travelling okay,” he says.

If you’re interested in sponsoring the event, or making a donation, you can contact the guys through their Facebook page, or via their website.

See the Facebook event page for the full festival line-up and to purchase your tickets.

If you or someone you know needs help or information regarding mental health, please contact Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14, or beyondblue on 1300 224 636.

Written by Helena Metzke