From Upwey-Belgrave to Warburton and beyond, something wonderful is happening. Local artists are getting out and about, sharing their talents with receptive crowds at a number of venues across the hills region, in a range of different open stage events.
There’s now a growing list of venues featuring open stages throughout the month. Each venue has its own colouring – some have a rock feel, whilst others like Groovin’ on the Edge have more of an acoustic jam flavour. One thing is for certain; there’s no shortage of venues and events featuring each month:
Upwey-Belgrave RSL (Upwey)
Burrinja Café (Upwey)
Monbulk Beer Engine (Monbulk)
Bell Tavern (Belgrave)
Sooki Lounge (Belgrave)
Kelly’s Bar and Kitchen (Olinda)
Forest Edge Restaurant (Gembrook)
The Reefton (McMahon’s Creek)
Wild Thyme café (Warburton)
In particular, locals Neesy Smith and Victoria Bonte are excited to host Gembrook’s Forest Edge Restaurant open stage events every Thursday night from August 21st –“Groovin’ On The Edge”
“While Victoria and I are hosting the Forest Edge night, we’d love to see people alternate and get around to all the venues. For example; one Thursday you could go to Burrinja for their open mic, and another you might get out to Groovin’ on The Edge. We’re looking to promote all the venues, and all the artists” says Neesy.
Fellow MC/Musician Stewart Kohinga is one of the rotating musicians that is featuring with Neesy at “Groovin’ on the Edge”. Stewart also hosts an open stage at Sooki Lounge in Belgrave every Sunday evening. “There’s a feeling that the music community is flourishing out here and having a single open mic is simply not enough, so it’s great to see all these things happening right at our doorstep.”
“Groovin’ On The Edge” co-host Victoria is also a regular at Wild Thyme’s monthly event in Warburton. “People get up and do all sorts of things – some people do poetry, some get up with various instruments and some sing.”
If you’d like to enjoy some live music as a punter or acoustic performer on Thursday evenings, pop down to 2905 Gembrook-Launching Place Rd in Gembrook for a 6:30pm start and put your name on the board. There’s a free pizza or drink on offer for performers on the night!