The Bendigo Blues & Roots Music Festival has quickly built a reputation for attracting high-quality national artists to the city each year – but music lovers don’t need to wait until the festival in November to catch some of them performing locally.
The festival’s Winter Showcase, to be held at the Golden Vine Hotel in Bendigo on Sunday, July 16, will bring to town an exciting list of artists from around Australia, who will join some of the region’s finest live performers for a vital fundraiser for the not-for-profit festival.

Among those travelling to Bendigo for the Winter Showcase is Townsville-based singer-songwriter Tasha Zappala, who – after bringing her brand of post-folk blues to the past two BB&RMFs – has developed an appreciation for the festival’s place in both the Bendigo community and the wider blues and roots festival scene.

“Bendigo Blues & Roots is unique in the festival circuit within Australia as it follows a similar layout to the Fringe Festivals around the world,” she said. “By having a festival mostly within existing venues, I feel as though you are able to support and promote local businesses and it contributes to a more sustainable interest in the arts. People can return to those venues to see live music throughout the year.”

In that sense, Zappala hopes many of those who enjoy the festival will get to the Winter Showcase at the Vine.

“The fundraiser is an excellent idea as it allows the community to be enthusiastic about the festival prior to the event,” she said. “It allows the city to connect with the musicians and follow their journey and the Blues & Roots creation in the lead-up to the November weekend. 

“It contributes to building an interest and involvement in the arts that spans more than a few days, and in the long-term, works towards a more integrated, creative and open-minded community.”

Joining Zappala at the Winter Fundraiser will be The Deans of Soul, Catfish Voodoo, Nardia Rose Band, Matt Katsis, 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.

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.