Bendigo has a big weekend of music in store to complement the city’s other Easter festivities.
The Easter Blues Bender features over 20 artists at venues across the city from Thursday evening through until Sunday. There are daytime family-friendly events in Rosalind Park and Lansell Gardens, and later evening events in some of the city’s bars and pubs.
“It’s exciting to see so many great artists in Bendigo over the holiday weekend,” said Colin Thompson, Festival Director, Bendigo Blues & Roots Music Festival, which has coordinated much of the mini-festival.
On Good Friday, punters can enjoy some autumn rays in Rosalind Park and Lansell Gardens with performances by Four Lions, Graciana Holland and Sherri Parry.
Aspiring pre-school rockers can develop their skills (and have lots of fun) with Skip’s NAPPA DACKA in Rosalind Park on Good Friday at 10am and Easter Sunday at 11am.
On Good Friday evening, Handle Bar, Basement Bar, the Golden Vine and Gold Dust Lounge will host John McNamara, Midweek Blues, Catfish Voodoo and the explosive Rattlin’ Bones Blackwood amongst others.
For a gentler Good Friday evening experience, the Old Church on the Hill sees Lily and King bring their quirky, lyrically-dexterous show to Bendigo again.
On Easter Saturday in Bull Street, the Erica Hawkey Band and Harlem will play early afternoon and early evening sets respectively. Over at the Basement Bar, Olly Friend is on at 9pm.
Also on Saturday, the Yard Bird welcomes Hailey Calvert (with Jason Cameron) and Sherri Parry to their iconic balcony mid-afternoon. William Alexander kicks things off at the Handle Bar at 2pm, followed by Bill Barber and Charlie Bedford. Highway 79 will bring musical events at the Handle Bar to a thunderous conclusion from 8.15pm.
The Golden Vine again caters for more night owl-like Bendigonians on Easter Saturday, with sets from Shaun Kirk and White Lightning.
Kirk’s career took off in 2010 with the release of debut album Cruisin’ – a Best Debut Album at the VIC/TAS Blues Music Awards. Kirk’s second album, Thank You for Giving Me the Blues’ shot to number 1 on the Australian Blues/Roots Airplay Charts number 1. Kirk, almost a veteran of the Australian festival circuit now, has played alongside the likes of Robert Plant, Ben Harper and Santana.
Kirk’s most recent album, Steer The Wheel was imaginatively crowd-funded, with fans pledging towards a variety of exclusives, including appearances in in the Stitches film clip and having a selfie in the album’s booklet. Kirk donated a proportion of the album’s profits to global charity Orphfund.
Bull Street on Easter Sunday sees an exciting, diverse line-up with Phisha on at 2pm, Andrew Watts and Seed playing late afternoon, followed by the ubiquitous Bill Barber. The evergreen John Grossman Project will be doing their popular rock and pop covers groove thang from 7pm.
Also on Easter Sunday, up at the Goldmines Hotel, the Tyson Hodges Trio will be doing their wonderful, incomparable instrumental stuff alongside a re-run of the popular Eric Clapton and Allman Brothers tribute shows. The music starts at 2pm.
If you happen to be in Geelong on Easter Sunday, one of the US’s finest musical exports, Endless Boogie, is headlining a big day of music across three stages at the Barwon Club. They are a wonderfully creative – almost anti-commercial – heavy rock blues outfit. This is the only Victorian gig on their tour.