2015 Winter Blues Festival By Peter Williams

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The 16th Annual Winter Blues Festival will run this coming July from the 24th – 26th. With a reputation for being the most accessible and friendly Music Festival in the country the WBF has a lot going for it.

The Winter Blues is unique for a lot of reasons, the most remarkable being that it is free! With the exception of the Wrap Party on Sunday night, which is a fund raiser for the next Festival, every venue is free to enter. The small print is that in smaller venues over meal times you may need to book if you want a seat.

The WBF is the second largest annual event on the calendar in Echuca Moama (after The Southern 80 ski race) and welcomes visitors and locals alike and equally. In fact for the weekend, visitors feel like locals as the atmosphere is so good.

It all begins with a soft launch, what would you expect at a Blues Festival, on the Thursday night. Yes that’s right, on the 23rd, the night before it all starts. This is a chance to ease into the rhythm and plan your weekend as well as meet a few of the musicians and the event volunteers and sponsors. The Moama Bowling Club is our major sponsor again and you really should look them up and say g’day because they help make it free.

With over 37 individual Acts performing more than 145 gigs across 30 stages spread over 3 days, this is one event not to miss. There are performances in venues right across Echuca and Moama and out in the streets. The musicians who perform at the WBF are among the cream of Australian Blues Musicians and you will not get the chance to see as many in the one place at the same time as you do in Echuca-Moama at the WBF.

If you have been before you will know how good it is and you will know that we book around 30% new acts each year to ensure that you will always see new performances.

If all of that is not good enough, on the Wednesday and Thursday prior to the Festival there is a Blues (music) Boot Camp for secondary music students. Students get a chance to mix with leading Australian Blues Musicians who are the tutors and learn about the music industry and how to make it as a performer. The first performance on Friday night is by the Boot Camp students so not only do they have to be focused, it is a real occasion for everyone.

On the Sunday there is a Kids Fun Space for younger attendees who need a little time out as well with a variety of creative activities to entertain them.

The performers for 2015 include: 19?Twenty. Ali Penney & the Money Makers, Andrea Marr, Benny Walker, Blue Eyes Cry, Blue Heat, Blues Boot Camp, Blues Mountain, Brooklyn Blue, Chris Wilson, Cleveland Blues, Dan Dinnen, Fiona Boyes, Genevieve Chadwick , Geoff Achison, Georhe MacFloyd, Ian Collard, Jimi Hocking, John McNamara, Kelly Auty & Wayne Jury, Lachy Doley, Marshall O’Kell, Mr Black & Blues, Nick Charles, Phil Manning, Richard Perso, Rod Paine & the Full Time Lovers, Safari Motel, Sammy Owen’s Blues Band, Shane Pacey’s Blues Trio, Spoonful, Stringybark McDowell, Tex Miller, The Piano Wizard, Three Kings, Uptown Brown and White Lightning.

For the first time in 2015 it is hoped to run a Blues singing and a Blues/Swing dance workshop during the weekend. Check out the website for all of the details.

The complete program will be available, for a gold coin donation, at venues, accommodation houses and the Tourist Information Centre soon. It will also be on the website www.winterblues.com.au

Enquires about the festival or volunteering can be directed to Peter Williams on 0427 083 286.

For accommodation enquiries or bookings phone Echuca Moama Tourism on 03 5480 7555.

Richard-Perso Fiona-Boyes Gen-Chadwick-bw-5x7 Ian-Collard

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