Photo by Cameron Robbins
The host to live music, film screenings, art installations, and culinary experiences across every weekend until the end of June. It’s all happening at Low Light in the coastal towns of Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale.
Low Light is in its second year, with Queenscliff Music Festival’s Andrew Orvis reprising his festival director role.
“Last year we learnt a lot,” says Orvis. “We learnt some of our strengths and weaknesses. There’s some things that naturally happen in Queenscliff that are awesome attractions for people to come to Queenscliff anyway.
“The place is beautiful, awesome food and events and art galleries – all sorts of things that are already happening. So this year we set out to incorporate a whole lot more of those quintessential Queenscliff things. Then, at the same time, bring in a whole lot of arts and music as part of it.”
It’s a comprehensive program, with various art displays and culinary showcases happening from Friday to Sunday each week. In amongst that, you’ll find a variety of concert events and low-key gigs such as the Sunday blues sessions at Lombardys.
Orvis donned his music festival hat to curate the QMF winter concert series at Queenscliff Town Hall. “We’re putting on three shows – a Dan Sultan concert, Archie Roach and Clare Bowditch. Three shows in beautiful old Queenscliff Town Hall. They’re already selling really well,” he says.
Low Light have joined forces with Bellarine Lighthouse Films to present a weekend of fine art films and special events from June 28-30. “It’s a small film festival with some great films happening over the whole weekend,” says Orvis. “The opening night film, A Boy Called Sailboat, is live soundtracked on the night by the Grigoryan Brothers, which will be pretty amazing.”
The local council and a few local business operators conceived Low Light as a way of injecting some atmosphere into Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale during the quieter winter months. The festival organisers aren’t shying away from the nature of the season.
“June 22nd is the winter solstice, so we’re making a big night of June 22nd,” Orvis says. “We’ve got three big sculptures. Two of them – one’s going to be in the Point Lonsdale main street and one in the Queenscliff main street – are displayed for a couple of weeks leading up to it. And then a big one’s going to be erected on the day down at the Queenscliff Harbour.”
Winter solstice marks the end of the gradual shortening of days that has been occurring since midsummer. Historically the date’s taken on symbolic significance, with many cultures interpreting it as the death and rebirth of the Sun. Low Light will enact its own solstice rituals.
“On that June 22nd night, all three of the sculptures get burnt. Huge big wooden sculptures that we’ll light up and then watch them burn.”
Low Light aims to attract people from the Peninsula, Surf Coast and across Victoria in general, however the major target demographic is Melburnians. People’s activity tends to wane in the winter months as the seasonal blues kicks in, but Orvis underlines the invigorating possibilities available in Queenscliff.
“People can make that weekend trip away, escape Melbourne and come down to a quieter place and relax and enjoy some good food and beer and whisky. Personally I’d be going to the whisky masterclass sessions at the Queenscliff Brewhouse. They’ve got gin masterclasses as well.
“We’ve set it up so that it’s a choose your own adventure program. There’s a whole lot of different program elements and components. There’s a whole lot of places to go for a really nice lunch or go for a walk on the coastline or stay inside and do something by the fire. The galleries and cafes and restaurants are awesome cosy kind of venues that are even more suited to those winter months.”
Low Light, Queenscliff is happening every weekend at Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale until Sunday June 30. For more information about the event or to see their full program, head to their website.