Going ahead in February, the Bendigo Blues and Roots festival is a true celebration and reflection of the blues and roots scene in Bendigo, the nation and the world.
The countdown is finally on for the festival that sees the humble town of Bendigo embrace upwards of thousands of music lovers, with the tenth annual Bendigo Blues & Roots Music Festival this summer.
The beloved festival will deliver its four-day program in the heat of the summer next year, taking place from February 10-13 for its postponed tenth edition, which was originally scheduled to take place in November 2020 then again in November 2021.
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Proudly supported by Visit Victoria and City of Greater Bendigo, the festival is a predominantly free, grass-roots, community event that gives music fans and community members the opportunity to enjoy world-class music, with a focus on local and independent talent from the blues and roots genres.
Since its beginnings in 2011, founded by Colin Thompson and a dedicated crew of music lovers, the festival has become synonymous with creating a warm, friendly and artistic vibe amongst patrons, strolling along the street from venue to venue, hearing music from all directions and having so many options, and such amazing talent. This sense of ‘community’ has also evolved between musicians, some of which have played almost every year and others that may have never been to Bendigo before. This is what makes this festival so great, really… it’s a Bendigo thing.
The four-day event will again be filled with performances, open mic opportunities, jam sessions and workshops – by more than 100 artists from all over Australia (as well as some internationals) – conducted in over 30 venues throughout Bendigo and some surrounding areas. From hotels to street parties, cafes, to carparks and the famed Art Gallery, music will fill the streets from Eaglehawk to Kangaroo Flat, and on to Ravenswood, Chewton, Cornella and Maldon, uniting the local community and traders while showcasing the Bendigo Arts Precinct, CBD and culture.
With a treasure trove of discovery, some worthy mentions from the first lineup announcement include young blues artist Charlie Bedford, funky blues man Buddy Knox and his Blues Band, Melbourne soul, funk, and blues band Rambal (formerly known as Justin Yap Band), Melbourne-based singer-songwriter, guitarist and bottleneck slide player Anna Scionti Trio, local singer songwriter Sherri Parry, soulful blues duo The McNaMarr Project, soulful, bare-footed, multi-instrumentalist Daniel Aaron, and award-winning New Zealand-born, Melbourne-based solo artist Kerryn Fields.
Regardless of your musical persuasions, the line-up clearly spans a number of genres including everything from blues, jazz, funk, folk, to indie, with some artists performing the festival before, and others making their Bendigo debut – and that’s just the first announcement.
A highlight will, of course, be the day-long friendly-family centrepiece concert featuring more than a dozen great acts in Bendigo’s picturesque Rosalind Park on Saturday, February 12 2022. The community-focused environment, historic scenery and atmospheric charm of the main concert always attracts a range of music lovers, with punters encouraged to bring along a picnic rug and chairs and enjoy a day lazing in the sun under the leafy 120-year-old trees while discovering your new favourite artist. Great food, local wine, beer and cider are all available to purchase on site too so once you have your spot of the grass, you’ll be set for the rest of the day.
The team are still in the process of delivering a complete stellar line-up, so for updates head to the website!
The first round announcement is huge, so take a deep breath:
Alawishus Jones & the Outright Lies
Anna Scionti Trio
Ben J. Carter
Bendigo Ukulele Group
Bonnie Kay and the Bonafides
Brent James Turner
Buddy Knox Blues
David Blight with Mick Kidd
Day of Embers
Elena B. Williams
Harry Coulsons Blue Dogs
Hat Fitz & Cara
Jesse Morris Band
La Fiaba String Quartet
Leslie D. King & the Trembling Shakes
Louie & the Pride
Pete Cornelius Band
“Piano Wizard” Andrew Farrell
Rattlin’ Bones Blackwood
Shea Laoise Music
Sons of the Blues
The Barren Spinsters
The Blues Darts a.k.a. The Ellroys
The Deans of Soul
The Gami Gami Devils
The McNaMarr Project
Tony J. King
Union Street Blues Club
Serving up a jam-packed four days of music, talent, art, community, and fun for the whole family, the festival is a true celebration and reflection of the blues and roots scene in Bendigo, the nation and the world.
Bendigo Blues & Roots Music Festival runs from February 10-13 2022. Further information for the festival is available through bendigobluesandroots.com.au.