March 9, 2022

Surf Coast Music Trifecta – a sure bet this March

Meadow and the new Aireys Inlet (formerly Open Mic) Music Festivals, and The Sound Doctor Presents series are gearing up to entertain passionate music audiences in our coastal towns and hinterland. Each event offers something unique to music fans – and that may well be the key to their success

Locals will tell you that the stand-out feature of an event like the Aireys Inlet Music Festival is simply its palpable ‘community’ vibe. Aireys muso Adam ‘Adza’ Gilliver explains. 

“The original Open Mic was very much built around participation. In the early days, the festival experience was rocking up to some random gig and discovering that your next door neighbour plays a pretty mean bass guitar in a rock band fronted by the local plumber! Musicians would literally come out of the woodwork. The entire town of Aireys turns up every year, along with anyone with the remotest connection to the area. People sought out the Aireys Open Mic because it was such a memorable social occasion as much as it was a great music experience, and we’re sure this new version will have the same vibe”.

The new Aireys Inlet Music Festival sees a different format to what the Open Mic offered pre-COVID. Previously it was a completely free event where punters were encouraged to pay what they thought the music was worth. In 2022, to provide extra support for artists who have done it particularly tough over the last couple of years, festivalgoers will be asked to purchase a $30 weekend pass that will provide access to the Aireys Pub and all the headline acts at that venue. Free music will be programmed at all the other town venues, including Great Ocean Road Gin Tasting Room, A la Grecque, The Captain of Aireys and Great Ocean Road Mini Golf, but you can donate if you like what you hear. All proceeds will be going to the artists.

If you are a real music aficionado looking to get up close to some of Australia’s genuine star performers and to discover what’s hot right now, then Meadow in Bambra and The Sound Doctor Presents in Anglesea deliver in spades. Again, each offers a different experience for music fans and this is why we are so spoilt for choice at this time of year. 

If you are looking for an intimate music experience in a beautiful old seaside art deco hall, with state of the art sound, stunning décor and perhaps a sneaky cocktail, then The Sound Doctor might just be your ticket

If you want to feel the crisp autumn air against your face in the beautiful Otway hinterland, watch an amazing sunset and dance the evening away with 1000 or so like-minded musical souls – get to Meadow

So, who are the heavy hitters of the industry making their way to the Surf Coast this March?  Well, Friday night’s not so ‘Mystery Guest’ at the Airey Music Festival is blues musician Josh Teskey. Teskey’s smoked whiskey voice will be the perfect tonic for a town that has been pining for the return of live music. Don’t miss local favourite, Forever Son on Saturday night – his blend of country soul and psychedelic rock always impresses.

Born in the Blue Mountains, award-winning singer songwriter Julia Jacklin is a genuine star. She graces the beautiful Anglesea Hall for The Sound Doctor Presents on the last Friday and Saturday of March. Gordon Koang and his amazing band do a very special matinee at the same venue on the afternoon of Sunday 27 March. Local GP and The Sound Doctor Presents Founder and Director, David Corbet sings Koang’s praises. “Originally from South Sudan, his music is a wild blend of traditional Nuer rhythms and African pop beats. This is a show that will make you smile and you’ll be up on your feet dancing.”

You can catch any number of incredible acts at Meadow over two nights and three days from Friday 25 March

Highlights will no doubt be cult heroes Tropical F%&k Storm and Methyl Ethel, but the amazing Maple Glider and The Andy Golledge Band are formidable artists on the rise that you should check out. And it’ll just be great to be at music festival again!

Tickets – They are rare as hens’ teeth as they say on the coast so don’t delay another moment.

By Jim Lawson

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