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The 2019 Festival

The 2019 Paynesville Music Festival was again a great success for the town!  The weather was great, the water was calm, the music was fantastic, the events were almost all sold out, and the people were dancing in the streets!  The weekend activities all went very well from the floating barge stage on the McMillan Strait foreshore to the market, the Music Boat Cruises and the guitar Workshop with ‘The Fret Drifters’.

"We were extremely happy with the whole weekend," Festival co-ordinator, Angela Dunkley said.  "Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves over the weekend and the Music Cruises, market, children’s activities and the road closure added to the Festival atmosphere."  

Friday night was fabulous with a record crowd relaxing on the beautiful grassy foreshore along the Esplanade listening to Organic Joe, Bad Bait and The Fret Drifters, whilst most venues around town were also booked out.  Local band ‘Eleven’ played a show to a small, but appreciative audience at the Yacht Club on Friday night.

Saturday’s weather was beautiful, with sunny blue skies highlighting the natural beauty of the foreshore on McMillan Straits where the crowd set up chairs and picnic rugs on the shaded grassy area to enjoy the free entertainment.  It was a perfect day to enjoy the music on stage or have a boat Cruise on the Lady Jodie with ‘Joe Cool’.  

There was a wide variety of music over the weekend which included school bands Bairnsdale Secondary College Swing Band, the Nagle College Showband and the Senior Concert Band.  Bairnsdale Production Line gave a fabulous performance by some of their talented singers on Saturday afternoon, with Leon & The Blue Tones, and guitar superstar Gwyn Ashton also wowing the crowds.  The ever-popular Soultanas played an extended performance to finish off the afternoon.  Sunday featured the Fret Drifters (USA), The Wizard, Richard Perso, and The Raging Hearts who all did a fantastic job entertaining the audience.  The Vanuatuans gave an impromptu performance and the Jump Cats popped in and out on the Floating Tin Shed in between bands!  The weekend included rock, blues, jazz, country, traditional, swing and many other types of music with the audience loving every minute of it!

Lady Luck & The Kings set up at the park on Raymond Island and provided music for those travelling across the Straits on the ferry from Paynesville.  Greg from Brookwood Cigar Box Guitars set up on the Esplanade to showcase his handmade guitars and he received plenty of interest and enquiries about them.  

On Saturday morning, Gerry Ciavarella and the Bairnsdale Secondary College Swing Band performed at the launch of the Don Burrows statue at the Paynesville Library, where a display will be on show until Easter. The statue celebrates Don and his wonderful contribution to music in the Paynesville area.

The Rotary Club held a market on the foreshore on Saturday with a variety of interesting craft, food and homemade items, which added to the weekend festivities.  Saturday night at the Yacht Club saw the return of ‘The Uncles’ who put on a fantastic sold-out show, with the audience up and dancing all night!

Again, a popular activity at this year’s Music Festival included music cruises on the "Lady Jodie" with each one hour cruise enjoying the delicious sounds of "Joe Cool".  

"We had visitors from Melbourne, Regional Victoria, interstate and even overseas enjoying the cruises around the lakes and canals of Paynesville", Angela said.  "The Music Cruises are a great feature of the weekend, and are always very popular.  This year, we even had a proposal on board one of the Music Cruises - so that was a happy first for the Festival!"

Buskers had the opportunity to perform to a crowd on Saturday afternoon at the "Big Red Bus’ on the foreshore.  Ten buskers had a half hour each to perform, with some returning the next day to have another go at the front of the IGA Supermarket.  The buskers love taking part and having the chance to perform over the Music Festival weekend and they add another feature to the Festival, with crowds showing their appreciation for participating.   

Adding to the wide variety of music on show over the weekend, the East Gippsland Symphonia played at the Sunday morning church service and afterwards in the church garden.   There was definitely something for everyone who came to Paynesville for the Music Festival weekend.  

Cafes, restaurants and bars in Paynesville provided music at their venues and they too made the most of the extra crowds in town to promote their businesses and attract more tourists to the area. The Paynesville Business & Tourism Association Committee were very happy with the weekend activities and would like to thank the sponsors, volunteers, bands, local venues and everyone who helped make the weekend such a success, and look forward to the 2020 Paynesville Music Festival on February 21st, 22nd and 23rd.

Festival Photo Album

The 2019 festival can be re-lived in pictures by going to our photo album:

2019 Festival Photo Album

About us

The festival is organised as a community event through the Paynesville Business and Tourism Association.


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