Andrea Robertson, Sarah Carroll, Gabby Steel and The Mojo Corner will take to the twilight stage.
Prepare for an evening drenched in the soulful sounds of Americana music as some of the Bellarine’s most talented songwriters and artists grace the stage for the second edition of Americana On The Bellarine, the brainchild of Ocean Grove singer/songwriter Andrea Robertson.
Set against the stunning Bellarine skies and the picturesque backdrop of the Potato Shed in Drysdale, this boutique festival promises an unforgettable evening of roots, blues, folk, and country music on February 17, 2024.
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For those not in the know, Americana Music, often dubbed Alt-Country Music, is a genre that gracefully weaves together blues, roots, country, folk, rock, rockabilly, gospel, and soul. It’s a musical odyssey under the expansive umbrella of diverse genres, creating an eclectic and emotionally resonant sonic experience.
“It’s interesting that a lot of people still aren’t exactly sure what the term ‘Americana music’ means, so I see this as an opportunity to de-mystify that a little,” Robertson says. “Because at the end of the day, it’s just a great blend of multiple genres, typically blues, roots, country, folk-based but can also be elements of bluegrass, soul, rock and gospel.
“I don’t even particularly want to peg myself as an Americana artist because that can sometimes limit you as an artist. I’m a songwriter and a storyteller, I personally have so many influences from multiple genres, and I think that is evident in my own music.
“But sometimes you do need to be able to give yourself a label, and so, Americana seems to the be best fit for me. Just as it is for the other artists on this lineup too.”
Celebrating Americana with a local lens, the festival boasts a lineup of exceptional artists who effortlessly embody the Americana genre. Two standout performers, Andrea Robertson and Sarah Carroll, are set to steal the spotlight at the event, showcasing their exceptional songwriting and musical prowess. Also performing on the night will be singer-songwriter powerhouse Gabby Steel and crowd favourite, The Mojo Corner.
Returning for its second year this February, Americana On The Bellarine was initially conceived by Robertson over three years ago with plans for a live event in mid-2020. However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted these plans, prompting Robertson to pivot and host a livestream event in July 2020. The event, which featured a lineup of five artists, aimed to provide a source of joy during the challenging lockdown period.
“The desire to create an event like Americana On The Bellarine as a live, ticketed event had been an idea of mine for quite some time, with the hope that it would be something that would become an annual event. An event that lovers of original music of the many genres that make up Americana music to mentally note on their calendars and look forward to come along to each year,” Robertson explains.
Speaking about the livestream experience, Robertson expressed, “It gave me a focus, a purpose for my music, and the opportunity to reach out to other artists and audiences at the same time.”
Despite facing setbacks due to lockdowns and outbreaks, Robertson’s persistence paid off in 2022 when she secured funding through Creative Victoria. This paved the way for her vision to come to life as a live, face-to-face, ticketed event in 2023. Last year’s festival showcased the talents of artists such as Sarah Carroll, Alister Turrill, Annie-Rose Maloney, Nathan Seeckts, and, of course, Robertson herself.
“I just had to let it keep brewing and wait until the right time. That finally happened in February last year, and it was well worth the wait.”
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Now back for round two and set to take place at a new location – the Potato Shed in Drysdale, offering an enchanting outdoor stage experience. Here, audiences can immerse themselves in the music while lounging on picnic rugs, enjoying nibbles, and sipping drinks from the licensed bar.
“The venue last year (BrewiColo in Ocean Grove) was the perfect venue for its first show with an audience, and the owners were amazingly supportive. They are terrific people and very community minded,” Robertson says.
“But amazingly, we sold out prior to the event and ended up with almost 40 people on the wait list, so it felt like finding somewhere a bit bigger would make sense, so that we could expand our audience a little more – without going too big. A slightly bigger venue with lots of parking and more facilities to cater for the size, a space for musicians to put their gear before and after playing.
“And the other main factor was that The Potato Shed have an amazing outdoor stage which will be perfect for Americana On The Bellarine to become a twilight event held under the stars. But they also have the ability to pivot and shift indoors to their impressive theatre space should the weather not be in our favour. Weather is always one of the hardest things to work around for outdoor events where we live!”
Rain, hail or shine, don’t miss out on the Americana On The Bellarine – an enchanting fusion of genres under the Bellarine stars.
Americana On The Bellarine takes place on February 17, 2024 at Potato Shed, Drysdale. Get your tickets here.