Inaugural Surround Sounds ends on a high

INXS cover band INXSIVE performing at the Potato Shed as part of Surround Sounds. (Ivan Kemp)

Following a month of celebrating the biggest names and newest faces in Australian music, the inaugural Surround Sounds Geelong and the Bellarine Music festival ended on a high last weekend with multi-award-winning Australian country music artist Kasey Chambers performing at Costa Hall.

City of Greater Geelong arts, live entertainment and hospitality portfolio chair Eddy Kontelj said the month-long music festival had made a significant contribution to the City.

Over the festival, which ran from April 7 to May 8, a total of 840 musicians performed at 90 events hosted at 35 venues across the City.

More than 14,000 people attended the events.

“With the broad offerings and the activations of Surround Sounds that occurred throughout the City of Greater Geelong, we are one step closer to becoming the live entertainment hub of regional Australia,” Cr Kontelj said.

“Giving residents and visitors to our region over 90 events to choose from over the last month has helped to reinvigorate the live music scene and local businesses alike.”

Cr Kontelj said there were several highlights throughout the festival, with many significant performances for the region.

Among them were two nights of OK Motel’s latest music tourism event West Town Music Club at the Geelong West Town Hall; Billabong Songs, a celebration of First Nations music, culture and yarns in Johnstone Park; Geelong Jazz Day; the Ocean Grove Acoustic Festival; and Music in Exile at the newly refurbished Palais Theatre.

The festival also saw several weekends dedicated to Australian Music Vault’s Geelong Music Bus Tours with legendary Geelong music icons Mick Thomas, Adalita and Maree Robertson taking punters on a nostalgic journey throughout the City of Greater Geelong, highlighting the rich music heritage that is embedded within the city’s cultural DNA.

Not just focussed on performances, the festival also included a diverse range of activities, including responses to music through visual art in Draw the Music at Creative Geelong; APRA AMCOS one-on-one sessions and workshops with Alice Ivy and Jini Maxell; and the opportunity to hear first-hand from musicians Lloyd Spiegel and Ali Barter how they carved out career paths in the music industry.

Surround Sounds Geelong and the Bellarine Music Festival was presented by City of Greater Geelong and the Victorian government through Creative Victoria.