Mordialloc by the Bay
When you think of Melbourne suburbs where you might find a food, wine and music festival, Mordialloc probably isn't the first one to make it to the list. Yet 60,000 people are expected to attend Mordialloc By The Bay Fine Food, Wine and Music Festival, a two-day culinary and cultural feast on the foreshore this weekend.
Headlined by Diesel and Joe Camilleri, the festival will feature non-stop jazz, blues, latin and swing, from acts such as Andy Cowan, Blue Shaddy, Sarah McKenzie, Stevie Paige, Blue Heat, Lloyd Speigel, Zydeco Jump and The Teskey Brothers. There'll also be Master Chef cooking demonstrations, complete with take-home recipe books; gourmet food and wines; free Salsa and Swing dance lessons; the Lens Mist Photographic competition, which features seascape photography and has a first prize of $5,000; rides, children's activities and more. "It's a bit like going to an outdoor wine bar with great food to eat and amazing music to listen to," is how Gabrielle Nime, City of Kingston's Team Leader Festivals & Arts Development, describes the event.
Now into its 15th year, Mordialloc By The Bay has previously featured acts such as Louis King and the Liars Club, The Bamboos, Paul Williamson, Nichaud Fitzgibbon and the Satellites, as well as international performers such as the Duhks and Emily Smith Band from Canada and Stan Street from America. Master Chefs have included big names such as Gabriel Gaté, Guy Grossi and Jacques Reymond.
This year, Joe Camilleri is making a welcome return, says Nime, who has put the festival together. "Joe has performed at the festival a number of times and the community loves him and always looks forward to having him back… so due to popular demand, Joe is back!" she says. (Camilleri will be on the Jazz and Blues Main Stage Sunday at 5pm).
Diesel will be making his debut performance at the festival on the Jazz And Blues Main Stage Saturday at 9pm. "He has a huge following and we are hoping that this will give some of his fans an opportunity to check out Mordialloc and our festival, particularly if they have not been to the area before," says Nime.
Mordialloc, she believes, is one of Melbourne's best-kept secrets. "Set on a beautiful stretch of beach where the mouth of Mordialloc Creek meets Port Phillip Bay, Mordialloc is the perfect location to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and even places like St Kilda, while still remaining within the Melbourne metropolitan area," she says.
The festival takes place at Peter Scullin Reserve, which will be transformed by a combination of marquees, chairs, tables, café umbrellas, picnic blankets and "a sea of people dancing to the rhythm and melodies". Kids will be kept entertained with painting activities, face painting, fake tattooing and amusement rides.
"There is a great vibe," says Nime. The festival also represents "unbelievably great value" with it costing only a $2 gold coin donation to enter. "I'm not familiar with any other festival where such a high calibre of performers can be seen at such a low cost. You can't even buy a coffee for $2 these days," she laughs.
With so much crammed into the two-day program, Nime says locals often "plan their holidays around this festival so they don't miss it and make sure they can come on both days to maximise their enjoyment". And why not? As Nime says, "the acts are quality, the wine is straight from the wineries and beer is only boutique. The food is also as high quality as it gets at a festival."
The Mordialloc by the Bay Fine Food, Fine Food, Wine and Music Festival is at Peter Scullin Reserve, Beach Road, Mordialloc on Saturday March 19, 11am to 10.30pm and Sunday March 20, 11am to 6pm. $2 entry only. While parking is available in Mordialloc around the festival site, patrons are encouraged to use sustainable transport options including walking, cycling, catching the train (to Mordialloc station) and/or bus to Mordialloc. A free shuttle bus will run each day of the festival from Parkdale Station to the festival (and back) stopping all bus stops every 20 minutes. For further details visit kingston.vic.gov.au.