West Set Festival is a Maribyrnong City Council initiative keeping the live music scene going in local venues despite the cold start to winter.
The festival returns to Footscray from Friday June 14 to Sunday June 23. These ten days of music have been carefully programmed by Hear Them Holler, an artist management and events company co-founded by Lior Albeck-Ripka.
“It’s a diverse program across genres, ages, cultures and genders,” shares Albeck-Ripka. “There’s a lot of emerging, but some more established artists. Everything from hip hop to disco, soul to afrobeat and alt-country to jazz and swing.”
The aim of the festival is to bring in new audiences to the Footscray venues and showcase what there is on offer. Drawing in punters from surrounding areas to enjoy a full program of over 35 free events all within walking distance of Footscray Station. Some of the musicians are locals themselves such as bands Franco Cozzo, and Ruby Jones who are both from the west of Melbourne. However, West Set also features artists from interstate such as Ziggy Ramo (Perth) and The Montgomery Brothers (Cairns).
“The opening night is The Dusty Millers, a beautiful alt-country trio with incredible voices. They’re all related. Loretta Miller, the lead singer of Jazz Party, harmonises with her mum and aunt. That leads into Alice Skye, an unbelievable singer-songwriter, followed by headliner Ziggy Ramo at The Line. This amazing venue in Footscray was set up by the people behind St Jerome’s [Laneway Festival].”
The festival also boasts a Professional Development Panel featuring prominent industry professionals at Kindred Studios on Thursday June 20. “The space has rehearsal rooms, studios, a stage. The venue’s very chilled out. It’s got couches, it’s got a bar.”
The panellists include international artist Gabriella Cohen, Tom Larnach-Jones who is the label manager at Milk! Records. Sarah Hamilton who runs a digital distribution company Ditto, Nicholas Albanis from APRA AMCOS, and Arik Blum, producer and founder of GRID. They are going to be talking about the music industry and doing things DIY in 2019. Alistair Burns is moderating, who manages Julia Jacklin and Marlon Williams’ manager and runs Heart Stop Music.
Take a walk on the westside this winter and discover the next wave of Australian music with West Set 2019: Winter Tunes Westside – 9 days of free live music in Footscray. Full program details: https://bit.ly/2XeuIbc #westset
Posted by City of Maribyrnong on Tuesday, 28 May 2019
“It’s a free event for anyone who’s interested in the music industry or how to make it as a musician, manager or a label. The panel will be followed by a performance from Franco Cozzo, a local Footscray band.”
Closing night will be in the beautiful old Bluestone Church Art Space. “This event is an entirely different feel with Gena Rose Bruce opening, followed by Ryan Downey who is a cross between Roy Orbison and Chris Isaak and headliner Elizabeth, lead singer of Totally Mild. Elizabeth’s playing with a seven-piece band making this an exquisite event.” However, due to the small capacity of the venue you’ll need to register your interest via Eventbrite to guarantee entry.
Other events Albeck-Ripka recommends include a night of indie, post punk rock with Culte as well as performances from Ruby Jones and Spike Fuck at The Line on Saturday June 15. Ugandan musician Gordon Koang comes to Jambo on the same night; an intriguing storyteller, Koang shines a light on growing up in the African country and raising kids while being blind.
There are events on every day of the festival but if you’re still looking for more, the festivities don’t stop at Pride of our Footscray which will act as the festival club throughout the extravaganza. The venue has events every night bar Monday and if you’re a bit peckish, you can order food from restaurants along Hopkins Street and it will be delivered to the club for you.
“We’ve got a few things programmed there; the opening night after party with Donald’s House who are super fun house DJs. We’ve got another alt-country night happening there in the middle of the week and two beautiful singer-songwriters on the following Saturday but you can pretty much go there any night and have a great time.”
West Set Festival takes over Footscray from Friday June 14 until Sunday June 23. For more information on all events or to register your interest for any opening or closing night events head to the festival webpage.