Bendigo Blues & Roots ‘unique on the festival circuit’

Bendigo Blues & Roots ‘unique on the festival circuit’

Ahead of the Bendigo Blues & Roots Music Festival’s Winter Showcase on July 16, Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Matt Katsis talks about the strong sense of community among musicians who play the annual festival.

Briefly describe your music and your musical journey so far
I’m a singer-songwriter and guitarist and play a mix of blues/roots and folk music. I make use of live looping and the percussive elements of the acoustic guitar to build up song forms and approach my live playing as a one-man band with foot percussion like kick drum and tambourine. The sound is evolving, as is the journey – I picked up the guitar almost 20 years ago and have been gigging and recording original music for around a decade now. Music’s an addiction all right!

What has been your involvement with the Bendigo Blues & Roots Music Festival in the past?
I have played BB&RMF for the past two years and the festival quickly became a highlight of the year!

What are your thoughts about the playing the fundraiser?
I’m really looking forward to it – it’s not every weekend artists from across the country bind together through music to show their support, so that come November the festival weekend can not only go ahead, but be a success for all involved. As a past artist at Bendigo Blues & Roots, being able to support the festival that supported me initially I feel is essential.

How important are regional festivals like BB&RMF – for musicians, audiences and communities?
Super important! As many will have had experienced, it’s such a great weekend with live music set right across town in more than just the usual hotspots, so I think it gives audiences – whether from Bendigo, nearby communities or cities afar – the chance to experience a large spread of amazing artists and bands. Not only for the music – it also brings vibrancy to businesses within the community. I love jumping in the van, and getting out of the big city (Melbourne) whenever I can. A large part of my live playing is based around playing in regional areas.

Any final thoughts on anything music or festival-related?
Looking forward to playing some new songs I’ve written at this upcoming fundraiser and come September releasing my new EP As the River Runs, just in time for November’s festival too I might add!

Joining Katis at the Winter Fundraiser will be: The Deans of Soul, Catfish Voodoo, Nardia Rose Band, Tasha Zappala, Kelly Brouhaha, Cameron James Henderson, The Barren Spinsters, Tim Hulsman, Wayne Jury, Savannah Rose, William Alexander, Bill Barber & The Revelators, Dave Diprose, Mariah McCarthy and Mr Wilby & Me.

Tickets are available at the door on the day and are $15 for adults, $5 for under-18s (with under-12s free). Friends of the Festival (FOF Members) enter free – but a FOF card must be presented. The live music will start at 12pm and continue through till 8pm at the Golden Vine Hotel, 135 King Street, Bendigo.

Check out Katsis’s music at

Now in its seventh year, the Bendigo Blues & Roots Music Festival continues to go from strength to strength. The Festival is still solely run by a dedicated group of local volunteers. With a line-up of local, national and international artists, there is always plenty to see and hear – from talented newcomers to genre stalwarts who have been refining their sound over many years.