I’m determined to keep it brief this time around and leave more room for the fantastic subjects of the feature and profile in this issue. I can’t believe the support that keeps coming out of the woodwork for our humble festival, which kicks off on the last weekend of November 2011.
Since our media launch/fundraiser at the Basement Bar last September, we have put on and co-promoted a number of other musical events, not just our fundraisers like the one this weekend at the Goldmines Hotel, but we’ve been able to provide paying gigs to bands and performers who were previously not exactly swamped with opportunities to play. So it’s been an extremely gratifying thing to be able to give a boost to the local music scene at a grass roots level, as a year-round project, on top of focussing on providing a top-notch festival program for the region come November. To me, that’s a big part of what starting this festival was about… providing opportunities and inspiration for aspiring players to be able to ply their trade to appreciative audiences and get some recognition for their talents and their efforts.
We are locking in more and more solid bookings for this year’s November festival as the weeks go on and I’m absolutely stoked to be a part of something that will bring so many great performers (both known & unknown) to Bendigo. It’s also exciting, as alluded to above, to be given the opportunity to shine a light on so much of the great talent that’s right here under everyone’s noses in our own region.
I’ve got to send a quick “shout out” of thanks to our newest financial and in-kind supporters: AFS and Associates; Bendigo Mazda; AD Media; as well as all the brilliant individuals who help put our fundraising shows together and the venues who continue to play host to them!
Aside from the regular musos and live music fans who repeatedly offer their assistance to myself and the BB & RMF committee, there are people from all walks of life who recognise the value in what we are building with this festival and want to do something to contribute to it. As much as we welcome more corporate sponsorship and we encourage more and more local businesses to consider forming partnerships with the festival in any capacity they might see as mutually beneficial, not everyone obviously has cash or in-kind sponsorship to offer. To those who wish to contribute but are unsure how, I ask that you please continue to spread the word about our humble fledgling festival. If you’re on facebook, find our event’s page, hit the “like” button and then suggest the page to your friends. Share our website address with friends via email – it’s not difficult and we’re easy to find: www.bendigobluesandroots.com.au
If you see an event (on a poster, or on a website, or in the newspaper) that has our logo on it, please come along and check it out. For that matter, just get along to experience more live music as a rule. I’ve said it time and again, going to the effort of getting out to enjoy some quality live music is it’s own reward. There’s so much more music in Bendigo than the average punter realises. This weekend for instance, there are at least 5 gigs I’d love to be at… all within 5 minutes drive of the Bendigo CDB! I only wish I could get to more than a couple of them. There are worse things in the world though than to be spoilt for choice.
Thanks again for all your support thus far. We (the BB & RMF Inc. Committee) still have a lot of work to do between now and November in order to bring you Bendigo’s first ever fair dinkum Blues & Roots Music Festival, but we are enjoying the challenges as they arise and will continue to present quality events for your enjoyment along the way – so keep your eyes open and your ear to the ground! Cheers.