Queenscliff Music Festival continues to reach skyward, breaking big waves with its first line up announcement of talent set to hit Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula. The annual last-weekend-in November festival enjoys its 19th year in 2015 and turns up the volume throughout the lush picturesque surrounds of the fishing port of Queenscliff.
With a reputation for its spotlight on top notch Australian live acts, there is something for everyone at QMF, and its first line up announcement will certainly not disappoint. Brother-sister folk pop duo Angus & Julia Stone jump on a big jet plane back from their rounds of the European festival circuit to grace the QMF stages as the 2015 headline act. Joining them include Australian legends the Hoodoo Gurus who are looking slicker than ever enjoying 34 years of iconic status in the Australian rock scene.
In her only solo show in Victoria for the rest of 2015, Kate Miller-Heidke is back in Queenscliff with her triple-octave vocal pipes that have been described as “effortlessly switching between lyrebird calls to hymnal-quiet hushes before breaking out into operatic glass-breaking siren calls”. Her QMF performance will come hot off the tails of her new Opera Australia show The Rabbits. Something for Kate front-man Paul Dempsey will turn out in solo mode, bringing his unique brand of science fiction folk rock including some tasters from his forthcoming 2nd solo album. Touring his 50thalbum ‘Honest People’ is the illustrious yet humble John Williamson. Singer, songwriter, husband, father, grandfather and everyday bloke, Williamson is to Australian Country Music as the Southern Cross is to the current Aussie flag.
Bursting out from side of stage is the Melbourne Ska Orchestra with so many members that we’ve lost count! Led by Nicky Bomba (Bomba, Bustamento, John Butler Trio), the MSO have made a world-record attempt to have the largest number of horn players on stage at the same time, and includes some of Australia’s preeminent names in Ska and Reggae. From there we go to Go-Betweens co-founder Robert Forster, who will make his way down south to serve up a healthy mix of crafty pop songs and biting ballads. Rounding out a line-up saturated with up and coming Australian talent is Harts, Kingfisha, Oka, Ainslie Wills and Hey Frankie.
QMF’s strong line-up of live acts, relaxed atmosphere, family friendly meets party time crowd and fun flow festival grounds are just the tip of the iceberg. Punters are encouraged to upsize their weekend, choosing from the bumper crop of cozy B&Bs and retreats, nearby camping, and wining and dining that includes an expanding selection of gourmet food and drinks inside the festival arena.
Festival Director Andrew Orvis celebrates his 2nd year at the helm and has been working hard to bring the people what they want. He says, “We’re really concentrating on getting the balance right for our punters. It’s all about quality music, great shows, comfy surrounds, yummy food & drinks, in beautiful historic Queenscliff and all right on the shores of Port Phillip Bay.” And if this hot first line up wasn’t enough then keep your eyes peeled for the second line up announcement on 20 July.
“Part Bluesfest, part Tamworth with hints of Aunty Meredith and Port Fairy's 'folkie', Queenscliff Music Festival covers most bases… Some came to hear established chart-toppers but most dipped their toes into unfamiliar waters too. QMF has a knack of introducing the "next big thing" as it's about to break.” (The Age, 2014)
Discount Early Bird Tickets are already on sale until June 30 but blink and you’ll miss them, with regular ticket prices kicking in on July 1. Check www.qmf.net.au for all ticketing details.