The Reservoir Stomp put on a show for music fans of all ages
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The Reservoir Stomp put on a show for music fans of all ages

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Part music festival, part kiddie adventure day and part Reservoir love-in, there’s genuinely something for everyone, though the cowering punters who didn’t have kids and arrived earlier in the day when mini-human energy levels were still sky-high looked more than a little traumatised. Though sympathy is limited, given the limited opportunities for Melbourne music lovers to introduce their kids to live music.

The festival took over the Preston Bowls Club and the kids had a ball running in and out of the clubhouse, where bands including The Fauves and Saint Jude, played great sets, and the bowling greens, where you could be forgiven for tripping over mysteriously placed bowls, matchbox cars or plastic dinosaurs.

One of the highlights of the day was the Rez Faces Talent Contest – Reservoir and Preston are home to some seriously talented young’uns. And if you were there, no that wasn’t me singing along and shaking my bootay to ‘Shake It Off’ for the entire duration of the song.

Murray Wiggle and Wally Meanie’s Bubblegum Machine followed up a great Community Cup gig with a set cranking out ‘60s tunes and the floor was packed with mesmerised bubsies and oldies singing along to every word. Seeing Mr 18mo dancing to ‘Sugar, Sugar’ with Murray Wiggle and Wally Meanie in the background was more than a little surreal.

Salsa band Quarter Street had a great sound for such a small space and again the kiddies were the first ones on and the last ones off the dancefloor. Putting in their second Reservoir Stomp performance was Outer Urban Zone 2 Crew, a bunch of teens who write and perform their own music, but also performed some impressive hip hop for the encouraging crowd.

While this reviewer was tucked up in bed with a post-chocolate ice-cream-induced sugar-high kidlet by the time The Fauves took the stage, reports from the festival indicate they did a fantastic job, my source telling me it was a “a reminder of the energy of the ‘90s”.

The festival advertises ‘drinks at ‘70s prices’ and it’s a refreshing change for Melbourne festivals not to be completely price-gouged every time you need a refresher. There were a few food trucks on the ground, including the ice-cream that led us so badly into the sugar-induced-psychosis zone, and Los Amates was churning out beautiful and reasonably-priced Mexican tucker from the clubhouse kitchen.

This really did feel like an old-fashioned local get-together. I <3 Reservoir t-shirts were on sale everywhere you looked, and the crowd took a ‘village’ attitude to keeping an eye on all the kids. There couldn’t be a better way to enjoy some Sunday arvo tunes and avoid paying hefty babysitting charges. But if you don’t have kids or don’t enjoy their company, this is possibly not the festival for you.

Highlight: Seeing my kid rock out to Murray Wiggle and Wally Meanie at the same time.

Lowlight: Not getting to drink more beer at ‘70s prices.

Crowd Favourite: Wally and Murray for the little kids and when The Fauves took the stage for the nostalgia-seeking big kids.