Queenscliff Music Festival – Day One

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Driving into town from BIG4 Bellarine to the Queenscliff Music Festival site, a slow grey drizzle intensified. Having been to multiple QMF’s, I’ve come to accept that this particularly wonderful festival is one synonymous with a little rain. But hey, what’s a shower or two between friends – especially when there’s this much amazing musical talent on offer? With gourmet food vans a-plenty (this weekend will certainly feature Dos Diablos tacos, gumbo, souvlaki and White Guy Makes Thai) and an easily navigable festival site in picturesque Queenscliff to boot, you’re in for a vicariously wonderful weekend of sweet tunes. Wearing: rugged up in Missoni jacket, Cotton On boyfriend jeans and Sportgirl Hi-Tops.

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Things kicked off on a sweet note with vegan rap-popstrel Chance Waters singing songs of urban hope, including riffing about parking inspectors (close to my heart!) and better days. This one’s got a smile to make the girls swoon, and lots of hand clapping, too. 

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What’s a festival without some carnie theatrics? Would you venture to …. Magic Circus? (Me, not so much.)

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Russell Morris packed in the punters young and not-so-young with renditions of his smooth his ‘The Real Thing’ and ‘Hush’. I’ve never seen so many 60 plus year old ladies wearing Country Road waving their arms in the air reliving Sunbury psychedelia. Incredible musicians, memorable songs.

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Northeast Party House brought the house down with their electro-hiphop and ‘couldn’t care less’ attitude, augmented by crutches and ganja (probably).

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What a rockstar. He earned it!

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“Hands in the aiyar like you just don’t caiyar!”

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My favorite performer of the evening was Darren Percival, who some might remember from an Australian TV show like X-Factor. Crooning Motown classics, Percival has the natural gift of inclusion and radiates joy. He invited myself and another photographer up on stage whilst he was performing to take some candid photos of him and the crowd.

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He even jumped into the crowd while singing ‘How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You’ and had peeps singing solos. Helping people lose their inhibitions about creative expression is a special talent to have. Joy!

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Blue King Brown got the Lighthouse Stage feelin’ irie with their contagious reggae positive revolution set. Channeling Bob Marley, lead singer Natalie and her righteous babein’ backup singers dropped heavy beats and political rap. Rize Up!

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Blue King Brown also performed with expressive indigenous dancers performing ‘Treaty’. I’ve never heard it live before – it sent shivers down my spine.

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Last on the lineup was the Screaming Jets. This says it all. Suffice to say, they’re not my cup of Bundy and Coke.

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