The inaugural arts and music festival begins on ANZAC Day on Thursday April 26 with a Gala, and an eclectic mix of over 80 of the finest local and international music acts and 200 performances over the next four days.
Bendigo Autumn Music Festival has released its set times and special events for its 2019 shindig, set to kick off in just over a month.
Thursday April 25 is when things kick off for the opening night at the grandiose Ulumbarra Theatre, with performances from icons Deborah Conway and Willy Zygier as well as Saskwatch, Archer, Sibusile Xaba and more. The Gala, which runs from 6pm — 11.30pm, is hosted by RocKwiz’s Brian Nankervis and is the only limited ticket item of the event, offering festivalgoers a taste of the festivities and a who’s who for the next four days.
With such a mouth-watering lineup it’s fortunate that many artists are playing multiple set times throughout the weekend. If you can’t catch the superstar shows of Deborah Conway and Willy Zygier, Sibusile Xaba or Archer on opening Gala night, do not fret — they all play at least twice throughout the festival. Want to see your Friday night out with Saskwatch but can’t miss Coda Chroma? Catch the Melbourne indie duo closing out Saturday instead at the Bowls Club. And if that’s got you ditching The Bean Project, they also play at Gold Dust Shamrock on Sunday.
Mojo Juju also serenades Saturday evening at Capital Theatre should you not want to stay up too late to catch her on Sunday. If you have a change of heart though, you can close out your Sunday sunset with Hello Tut Tut, Thando and Brekky Boy (if you haven’t managed to catch them days prior). No Mono is followed by Jeff Lang at the Shamrock from midday, and you can shuffle over to Bowls Club to cap off your astronomical weekend with Z-Star Delta.
BAM will also feature several special guests for its On The Couch series that’s hosted by Nankervis, as he gets all buddy-buddy with our favourite artists and explores what goes on in their lives. Saturday April 27 sees jazz whiz Alma Zygier (who just happens to be the offspring of Deborah Conway and Willy Zygier), three-time ARIA award-winning blues guitarist Jeff Lang and the talented violinist and composer Xani (of The Twoks) take the hot seat.
Freya Josephine Hollick, as well as one of Australia’s most ingenious vocalists, Katie Noonan, will be taking the stage on Sunday April 28. Then, BAM audiences and fans of The Go Betweens will be in for a treat as they drown us in nostalgia with performances of their 30-year-old album 16 Lovers Lane, released in 1988. Lindy Morrison, Amanda Brown and John Willsteed will join for a sit-down, too.
Speaking of legends, Philadelphian born singer-songwriter Kurt Vile is heading to Australia in support of his bangin’ new album Bottle It In, following last year’s collaboration with Courtney Barnett. Katie Noonan also helms one of the other festival highlight’s Gratitude & Grief, a collaborative performance with artist and poet Michael Leunig on Sunday April 28.
Festivalgoers will be treated to a very special documentary film screening of Waiting: The Van Duren Story, complete with an introduction to the film by Van Duren himself, followed by a Q and A session and a band show.
If you’re looking for a fun-filled drumming workshop with afro-beats artist Lamine Sonko, Flamenco dancing with Arte Kanela or a lesson in Melanesian Ukelele with members of the Black Orchid Stringband, BAM has got those itchy hands and feet covered. For those interested in singing, check out the gospel singing workshop with Tracey Miller, harmony singing with Alana and Alicia or choir singing with the Melbourne Indie Voices Sing Sessions.
BAM runs the entire weekend till Sunday evening and caters to a diverse taste of audiences. With just five weeks until its commencement, gather your mates, share the program guide below and start planning your weekend getaway in scenic Bendigo.