There have been a number of new music festivals springing up outside the traditional capital city areas of Australia lately, from big names like Santana and Steve Miller Band headed to Deniliquin in NSW for the brand new Deni Blues & Roots Festival next March, to the recent success of the Not Too Old To Dance featuring a ‘for oldies only’ classic rock lineup.
There’s also the reports that community organisers in Warrnambool have sought consultation from a former organiser of the Tamworth Country Music Festival to help them put together a new annual music festival in the seaside town.
Now it’s Geelong’s turn, with the Geelong Advertiser reporting that a new music event celebrating and showcasing local, creative talent could be going ahead as early as next year thanks to the city’s recently elected Mayor, Keith Fagg.
Cr Fagg’s newly proposed Festival of Geelong will feature local bands, artists, performers and theatre groups. “We have great talent and professional people in a whole range of creative and cultural disciplines,” said the Mayor. “My idea is a festival that has a range of musical, theatrical and artistic pursuits.”
Cr Fagg has been at work with local council to put together the new weekend-long event with an eye to holding it during an “otherwise quiet time of the year,” with May pegged as a potential calendar date. Coming after the busy summer period but prior to the all-important first home game of the Geelong Cats football team at Simonds Stadium on June 1.
“Something around that time would be ideal,” added Cr Fagg, “next year would be good, but certainly 2014 if not next year.”“We have great talent and professional people in a whole range of creative and cultural disciplines,”
Courthouse Arts General Manager Malcom Sanders welcomed the Mayor’s proposal, stating: “It’s great that the new mayor really loves the arts and wants to see this happen… anything that encourages art in Geelong and Geelong artists should be embraced and warmly welcomed.”
The new weekend long music and arts festival will hopefully be held across a range of locations across the Geelong region rather than just exclusively in the heart of the city organise events at a range of locations across the Geelong region.
The proposed weekend event would mark the first major arts and music event of its kind in recent years, aside from last year’s Festivus For The Rest Of Us which featured the likes of Little Red (RIP), Children Collide, The Vasco Era and more taking over The Carlton Hotel – the region has been starved for major music events.
It seems that the annual Queenscliff Music Festival held in the nearby coastal town seems to fulfil the gap in the music event calendar, which last weekend capped its 16th successful year with the likes of The Cat Empire, Something For Kate, Missy Higgins and You Am I lighting up the beach-side stages, but Mayor Fagg’s new proposal will bring the attention back to Geelong itself.
Cr Fagg hopes the new weekend long music and arts festival will be held across a range of locations across the Geelong region rather than just exclusively in the heart of the city organise events at a range of locations across the Geelong region.
Unfortunately, Geelong’s popular live music venue The National, better known as The Nash, obviously won’t be featuring in any potential programming given the pub was forced to give up hosting live bands last month due to structural instability, with owners ordered to begin major works to assess the extent of the damage.
Australian hardcore heroes House Vs Hurricane were the last act to play live at the venue, which many bands used as a regional stop off during national tours, and events manager Al O’Niell estimated that during his seven year tenure that nearly 2,000 bands had graced the stage.
“I wish I could thank all the bands individually,” O’Neill told friends and fans of the pub. “I have seen some amazing bands over the years and the venue has opened up so many doors for me. I will miss the place terribly.”