The humble Deans Marsh Festival returns as a series of mini-events in 2021

The humble Deans Marsh Festival returns as a series of mini-events in 2021

Photo by Renee Wigley Photography
Words by Talia Rinaldo

The festival will see the heart of Deans Marsh come to life over three days as the community celebrates all that they are.

Going strong for more than two decades now, with a brief forced hiatus in 2020, the Deans Marsh Festival is a combined treat of live music, street performers, Otway food and wine and a unique artisans’ craft market – and is set to return again this month for a reimagined, COVID-safe instalment.

What you need to know

  • The annual Deans Marsh Festival returns in 2021 after being unable to take place last year
  • This year’s festival will be structured via a series of smaller COVID-safe events
  • This year’s instalments takes place in Deans Marsh from Friday March 26 to Sunday March 28

Keep up with the latest festival news here

Spanning multiple mini-events in various locations across Deans Marsh from Friday March 26 to Sunday March 28, this year’s festival provides the perfect opportunity to experience what makes this community unique, delving deep into what the hinterland has to offer and the amazing things the locals are creating, growing and making.

As always, the Sunday Deans Marsh Market will be a must for locals and tourists like. Running from 10am on March 28 at the Deans Marsh Memorial Reserve, you’ll find a range of great local produce from the region, with more than 35 market stalls featuring all sorts of crafty, quirky, delicious, useful and produce-y stuff for you to browse and buy.

There will also be a tonne of kid’s activities, including games, foot races, and puppet shows, food and beverages to taste on-site, as well as live music to keep the good vibes flowing all afternoon.

Another highlight of the mini-festival will be the launch event for the new Mountain Grey album, Riverstone Suite. As a festival favourite over the last few years, Mountain Grey have made their name over the last 15 years for performing music that deeply reflects the Otway Ranges, delivering vintage roots straight from the country with a eucalyptus twist.

With humming guitar notes, eclectic percussion, precision bottom-end bass all woven between blues harp and impassioned vocals, each original song is imbued with the poetry of regret and reflection, or simply sets folks a-dancing to that irresistible soul rhythm.

Their new album, Riverstone Suite, continues to inspire a musical journey for the listener, weaving between rock and blues, jazz and folk across ten lyrical narratives. Serving stories that tug at the heartstrings, you’ll be able to witness the magic from 4pm on Saturday March 27 at The Bambra Wetlands. Bookings for this event can be made here.

Joining these highly anticipated events, the festival will also feature an opening night performance of One Musician, Many Stories from acclaimed musician and storyteller Jan ‘Yarn’ Wositzky on Friday night, complete with a five-string banjo, harmonica, bodhran, spoons, rhythm bones and a myriad of true tales.

Then there’s a mini one-woman theatre show with Wendy Grose on the Saturday morning. Coined the Morning Tea with Our Marj, Grose will fuse drama with singing, bringing to life the incredibly inspiring story of one of our most colourful and talented local characters – international opera singer, Marjorie Lawrence.

While this year looks a little different, the festival remains the same at heart, giving visitors the chance to witness Deans Marsh come alive for the last weekend of the month.

The festival runs from Friday March 26 to Sunday March 28. Check out the festival website for more information.