Party Animals is the festival for foodies, families and live music lovers alike

Party Animals is the festival for foodies, families and live music lovers alike

Words by Augustus Welby

In celebration of its 40th birthday, the Collingwood Children’s Farm presents Party Animals.

Happening on Sunday November 3, the event will feature loads of live music, locally sourced food and drink, instructive speaking sessions and a series of workshops.

Collingwood Children’s Farm is a not-for-profit community resource and the Party Animals programming follows suit – it’s very much about acknowledging and supporting the hard work of independent artists and food and beverage producers.

“We wanted to make sure that all of the food onsite was farm-to-table reflective,” says Zowie Minchin, who curated the food and drinks program. Suppliers include Meatsmith, D’Lish Turkish Street Food, Western Port Mussel Supplies, Far Out Falafels and Fox Force Shakes, while the likes of City Larder, Nicolas Olive Estate and Northcote Bakehouse will helm market stalls.

The offerings cater for kids and adults, omnivores and vegans, and everything available at Party Animals will either be organic or biodynamic and supplied by local producers, makers and growers.

“The coffee served onsite will be served with Schulz organic milk,” says Minchin. “Rather than engaging food trucks to come along, we’ve engaged a producer to serve their food. So we’ve got [Western Port Mussel Supplies], they’re doing the paella and the chilli mussels, for example.”

Keeping in tune with the nature of the farm was another key objective, meaning you can purchase produce on the day and either take it home or consume it onsite.

“We’ve got two areas. One’s called the producers’ paddock and the other area’s called the party paddock,” says Minchin. “The producers’ paddock will be the market stalls.

They will be selling take-home food, but we’re asking people to bring their own antipasto plate and then they just walk along to all the different producers and they can get a scoop of olives, some walnut pesto, some cheese, and some terrine and they can make their own platter.”

The party paddock is where the live music is taking place. A host of local and esteemed acts fill the lineup, including Cosmic Psychos, Emma Donovan & The
Putbacks, the Orbweavers, Cold Gold, Saint Jude, Jess Ribeiro and Amadou Jaly Suso.

A number of kid-friendly acts are also on board, such as The Burnt Sausages, youth rap groups Lit Savage Girls and RYMS All Stars, Liam Gerner and his ukulele orchestra of Thornbury school students (aka The Ookerpookers) and the Farm Hand Bush Band, who’ve devised a love song tribute to Collingwood Children’s Farm.

“There are people who make music specifically for children and that’s fine, but I see children as small humans who are learning about music,” says music programmer Claire Portek. “I have a son who jumps around the house to Cosmic Psychos just as much as he does Justine Clarke or kids programming kind
of stuff. Burnt Sausages are definitely a kids’ band, but I’ve seen grown-ups totally crack up and really enjoy them.

“I think it’s a bit of an education both ways. Kids are going to love Emma Donovan, but the grown-ups are just as equally going to love RYMS doing their rapping or Burnt Sausages.”

Portek’s selections were guided by a desire to create a diverse program that represented various genders, ages and cultures.

“I just really wanted it to be good music that’ll be fun for people to enjoy,” she says. “So at any time when people arrive in the party paddock, there’ll be something interesting and fun that they can enjoy and the next band will probably be completely different to what the previous band was.”

The Party Animals organisers want to create a festival environment. Accordingly, Richmond’s Mountain Goat Beer and Abbottsford’s Bodriggy Brewing Co are
looking after the beer supplies, Innocent Bystander is bringing the wine and Melbourne Gin Company are overseeing Australian botanical-based cocktails.

“It’s not just a market stall-style thing,” Minchin says. “It really is like a festival where people just party all day, really.”

Party Animals comes to Collingwood Children’s Farm on Sunday November 3 from 10am until 8pm. For tickets and more information, visit