Bendigo Blues And Roots

12009717_1102206499807362_8107545009976256329_nTwo years ago we passed through Bendigo for the first time. The historical city and the kinfolk we met then made such an impression that we couldn’t wait to get back to visit! And so, when we found out that we were booked for the Bendigo Blues and Roots festival we were ecstatic!

The festival attracts thousands of music lovers and top-notch performers from across the country and beyond. And, with over 30 venues scatters throughout the city and 40 plus sponsors, the Bendigo Blues and Roots festival has a real cohesive community vibe. As their website states, the family friendly festival is the brainchild of renowned Bendigo musician and promoter Colin Thompson. It’s inaugural kickoff was in 2011 and it’s been rolling along successfully ever since. We had a chance to meet Colin, who volunteers as a labour of love to run the festival, and we were very impressed by his kind and humble demeanor. We found his dedication to promoting local and region music inspiring and were humbled to be included in this truly global/local festival, administered by the people for the people.

IMG_6732We performed throughout the weekend at The Golden Vine, Goldmines Hotel, Handle Bar, and the Bendigo Art Gallery. All of our sets were about 45 min and the sound and hosts in each venue was fantastic. Each show had its own unique flow depending on the vibe of the venue, which made each performance distinct and engaging. We enjoyed every single performance but especially enjoyed the jolly atmosphere of the newly opened Handle Bar.

To top it off many of our fellow muso kinfolk were also playing the festival. And, we also found remnants of one of Craig’s mates, artist Juan Ford, when we walked into the Art Gallery for our show and saw his painting hanging front and center!

IMG_6832During our off time, we visited most of the venues, heard fantastic music, and explored the city and its historical gold rush roots. We spent a bit of time rummaging through Bendigo’s best in Op Shops (Thrift stores) and enjoyed dining in many of Bendigo’s local restaurants. We especially enjoyed breakfast at Percy & Percy Cafe where we met and sat across from the Thomas family from South Australia and learned of their life on a sheep farm. We also stopped in to the Dispensary Enoteca to savor an afternoon drink before crossing the little laneway to Royal Jim’s Barber shop so our son could get a much-needed haircut. We shared a cuppa with Campbell the swagman, lounged on the green grass and watched bands, we, well Graciana, stayed out late with all the cool kids, including Sal Kimber, Hailey Calvart and Miss Eileen and King Lear, we danced heartily to Cisco Caesar, and sang “I’m Traveling” with kinfolk, Sisken River.

IMG_6790The weekend finally was sharing a home cooked meal at the Vincent abode, swapping stories and reminiscing about all of the amazing music, community and connecting that was had over the weekend.

If a festival could feel like home, it would be The Bendigo Blues and Roots festival. And for us, that’s a rare treat, one we’ll look forward to savoring again down the line.

Thank you BB&RF2015 for Such Rich memories and a fantastic way to end our two month tour in Australia!

 

 

 

 

 

Wallaby Creek Festival

IMG_1023We joined about 3000 kinfolk one sunny weekend in the rainforest of Far North Queensland. We flew into Cairns, took a bus five hours north and we sang, danced, hiked, swam, ate, created, laughed, cried, and we slept (a little).

At the heart of this festival lies a handful of local love, who 14 years ago launched a family friendly music festival for their community. Wallaby Creek Festival is held just 20 miles south of Cooktown and draws about 3000 friends from all over the world. We were honored to be one of about 30 bands to play the festival. Many of our friends played the festival as well, including Cisco Caesar, Ladi Abundance, Ungus Ungus Ungus, Richard Perso, Danny Ross, Siskin River, and local love by the Barefoot Bells, In the Element, Clarktown, The Taste and Sun Salute. The music variety was broad but all of the artists were fantastic and we each brought a lovely offering to the table.

There was so much more too, there were workshops on clowning, acrobatics, fire spinning, hooping, and arts/crafts. The food was amazing and our favorite tent was the Gypsy Feast served up by fellow nomad, Nora. There was something for everyone really. On top of it all, the setting was pristine, surrounded by mountains and a breathtaking hike up to a grand waterfall.

Instant family, that’s what happens at Wallaby Creek. With no access to the wifi world, the atmosphere at Wallaby Creek allows for one to just escape the everyday rat race and dive deep into relationship, art and culture. That suited us just right as we love to be available for those special moments that happen when folks have time to breath and engage.

These are some of the fantastic memories we will take with us, as we continue to tour down the east coast of Australia.

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