Live music back with a bang

A day on the green at Rochford Wines. Picture: ROMY STEPHENS

By Jed Lanyon

Live music is set to spring into action in October as the Yarra Valley plays host to several exciting events across the region.

It comes after 18 months of uncertainty and cancellations that have plagued the arts and entertainment industry. But with Australia’s slow vaccine rollout and New South Wales entering a strict lockdown to curb the latest outbreak over the next month or so, plans could very easily unravel.

A big month of music kicks off in October starting with the Marysville Music Weekend from 15-17 October. Marysville will invite roots duo Pierce Brothers to town, along with Australia’s leading jazz man James Morrison with his Motown Experience, Alt-country trailblazer Freya Josephine Hollick and many more.

Event director Bill Bate said he’s excited to launch the Marysville Music Weekend, which builds on the success of the Marysville Jazz and Blues Weekend.

“This weekend is a showcase event in our region, bringing locals and visitors from far and wide. We’re pumped about the new direction of the new brand of the Marysville Music Weekend,” he said.

To aid in maintaining social distancing, the event will be presented as four concert sessions in the Marysville Community Centre Stadium.

Just down the Maroondah Highway in Healesville, the Grapevine Gathering will take place the very same weekend on 16 October.

The already sold out event will see Australian music giants Peking Duk, The Veronicas, Vera Blue and The Jungle Giants perform live at Rochford Wines.

The Healesville winery will follow that event up by hosting Kate Miller-Heidke for her Child In Reverse tour on 23 October as part of the Cellar Door Series.

Developed by the team behind Australia’s iconic outdoor summer concert series a day on the green, the Cellar Door Series offers an up-close, intimate, boutique experience adjacent to the cellar doors of some of the most picturesque wineries across the country.

Across the other side of the Valley, the River Folk Festival will return to Warburton across 22-24 October.

While a lineup is yet to be confirmed, the event will feature multiple venues across the Warburton township, showcasing local, regional, national and international performers in a cultural celebration that brings vibrancy and colour to the region.

Last year’s event was set to take place across 13-15 March, but was forced to cancel at the last minute as the Coronavirus pandemic first hit our shores. News of the cancellation came so abruptly that some of the artists had already arrived in Warburton and performed an intimate session before we were plunged into lockdown.

The action continues in November as Wandin Park Estate hosts Valley Sounds, an acoustic festival headlined by James Reyne, Hunters and Collectors frontman Mark Seymour and Ash Grunwald. The event is billed as the Yarra Valley’s first acoustic festival and will take place on 21 November.