Sunday November 10.
Burnley Park, Richmond. Head east of the city to where the Yarra River separates Richmond from Hawthorn. It’s there, just off Swan St, that you’ll find the open green fields of Burnley Park. A favourite spot for dog owners on any given Sunday, it’ll become South-Eastern Australia’s doggie mecca on Sunday November 10.
Explain the name
British comedian and podcaster Adam Buxton begins every episode of his podcast by taking his dog Rosie out for a walk and often chatting to her while doing so. He makes a point of referring to Rosie as his “dog friend”, which is a subtle but significant distinction. Rosie isn’t a possession, something he owns and controls – she’s his friend, companion and confidante. That’s the sort of relationship Dogapalooza encourages between its visiting humans and their furry pals. Big and small, slobbering and yapping, clumsy and elegant – it’s a gathering of dogs and their human friends.
While the event wants to welcome as many dogs as possible, organiser Abby Gee has a tip for anyone clinically dog obsessed: “Leave your dog at home so you can love on everybody else’s dog with two free hands.”
The live music starts at 11:15am with Melbourne indie folk singer-songwriter Amie Grisold. Next up are folk duo GraceJean, who’ll be performing songs from their debut LP, Long Black Road. Rising soul and R&B musician Sophia Brown will shake things up in the early afternoon before Liona Tatafu brings it home with a set of neo soul that draws influence from Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, D’Angelo, Allen Stone, Beyoncé, Kimbra, Matt Corby and more.
What can I feast on?
There’ll be a whole stack of food trucks servicing Burnley Park on the day. These include Woking Amazing, Jerry’s Vegie Burgers, G.Free Donuts, Dr Hofmann’s Pizza, Pookie May Coffee, Let’s Waffle ‘n’ Shake, Quintessence Patisserie. The fine folks from Moon Dog Brewery will be dutifully dishing out beer.
Along with the doggie ogling, the neo soul and R&B reverberating from the main stage, and the bounty of food and beverages, Dogapalooza exists to raise funds for the anti puppy farming campaign, Oscar’s Law. The campaign’s mission centres on three core aims: to stop the factory farming of pups, to prohibit the sale of puppies in pet shops and to advocate for adoption and responsible pet ownership.
Its namesake, Oscar, spent the first five years of his life being exploited as a stud dog and living in a small pen with 80 other dogs. Oscar was rescued and has been rehabilitated and returned to good health, but the psychological impact of this sort of treatment is difficult for many dogs to recover from.
Proceeds from Dogapalooza will also go towards Puppy Tails, Melbourne Animal Rescue, Kayas Mission, Stafford Rescue, and a number of other non-dog specific second tier beneficiaries across the country and the Australasian region.
If you’re feeling fancy, the VIP ticket package scores you access to a fenced off area opposite the stage with the best view in the house, as well as VIP toilets and an exclusive shaded area if your dog’s not interested in working on its tan. Also included is a meet and greet with Oscar’s Law’s inspiring namesake and MC Walt Collins, plus a Dogapalooza stubbie holder and a free Moon Dog beer.
First and second release tickets for this year’s fifth edition of Dogapalooza sold out in a hurry. Adult final release tickets are on sale now for $39.80, which is a steal considering it’s a not-for-profit event. Concession tickets are going for $23.50, children’s for $13.30, and kids under 4 get in free. So do dogs. All prices include booking fees. If you decide to rock up on the day, adults will have to pay $45.