Following more than a year of isolation and multiple lockdowns, Vanessa today introduces Small Town Big Sound, a much-needed live music road tour coming to diverse areas of regional Victoria from April 16 through till May 22. Across six weekends, the mighty touring festival will see artists like Alice Skye, Amyl and the Sniffers, Bad//Dreems, Birdz, Camp Cope, Kee’ahn and more perform at well-loved and historic venues in six regional areas, from Koroit to Wandi, Pomonal and more.
Vanessa, the Transport Accident Commission’s youth communication program, has been working for over 15 years to arm young people with the tools to make safe road decisions, with zero judgement. True to the program’s long history of visiting music festivals, university events and more, Small Town Big Sound has been designed as a road tour with a purpose, to carry Vanessa’s ‘pre-think before pre-drinks’ message to young drivers across regional Victoria. The Vanessa crew will be present at each event on the tour encouraging attendees to have a ‘pre-think’, get breath tested, and take time to plan their safe journey home.
“We want everyone at Small Town Big Sound events to have a great time, but more importantly we want everyone to make good choices and get home safely. If you’re planning to have a drink, then planning a safe way home should be top priority and our Vanessa staff will be there to help you do that, and provide free breath tests,” says TAC Senior Manager, Engagement, Meg Jacobs.
Inspired by the colourful late 70s Aussie pub rock scene when some of the nation’s next-big blazing bands took to any venue, anywhere, expect a no-frills all-thrills gigging experience when Small Town Big Sound makes its 2021 debut. Alongside evening shows, the tour will also visit a local secondary school in each region, hosting music-focussed workshops that will give students the opportunity to learn from participating artists on their time and tips from working in the industry via a Q&A panel discussion. Followed by a stripped-back performance by one of the acts, students will also be given the chance to participate in interactive sessions around songwriting, sound production and the ins and outs of the music business, planting the seeds for the next crop of regional acts.
Kicking off on Friday, April 16, the festival makes its way to the Barwon South West region for a series of gigs spearheaded by Adelaidian rebel rock crew Bad//Dreems, supported by Melbourne cruisy alt-rock-poppers Floodlights and Gugu Yalanji, Jirrbal and Badu Island songwriter Kee’ahn. The trio, alongside a local act still to be named, will perform at the community clubhouse, Point Lonsdale Boardriders Club for their first evening performance. The following day, on Saturday, April 17 they will visit the stunning art-deco and council held, Koroit Theatre. A week later, the bands do it all over along the Mornington and Bass Coast, taking over San Remo’s Westernport Hotel on Friday, April 23 and Rye’s Rye Hotel on Saturday, April 24.
Heading into the third and fourth weekends, Melbourne’s pervasive alt-rock trio Camp Cope take the reigns in Loddon Mallee and the Grampians, joined on the road by acclaimed hip-hop heavyweight and Bad Apples Music signee, Birdz, and self-proclaimed pop patron of sad girls, Elizabeth. On Friday, April 30, the tour will storm the stage of Castlemaine’s long-historic Theatre Royal. On Saturday, May 1, the adventure continues at Bendigo’s Golden Vine for an evening pub rock soiree. Venturing to The Grampians the following weekend, the acts will hit Ballarat’s The Eastern on Friday, May 7 before wrapping up their run on Saturday, May 8, where the rebuilt town hall of Pomonal will see a gig like never before.
On the final fifth and sixth weekends, a blockbuster bill sees ARIA-Award winning pub-punk rockers Amyl and the Sniffers team up with the soulful, psych-blues of Harmony Byrne and the indie-folk Wergaia and Wemba Wemba singer-songwriter, Alice Skye for a live music revival the Gippsland and Hume regions won’t forget. On Friday, May 14 the acts visit Tarwin Lower’s Riverview Hotel, before the fire-devastated town of Marlo receives a show to remember at local watering hole, Marlo Pub on Saturday, May 15. The following Friday, May 21 will see the acts perform to a crowd at Mansfield’s Delatite Hotel, before a finale event at Wandi’s Wandi Pub, owned by a crew of friends, closes Small Town Big Sound with camaraderie spirit.
Alex Cameron from Bad//Dreems says about the tour,
“One of the silver linings of the COVID cloud for us is the chance to get out and play more regional dates, which is something that we’ve always wanted to do, but have struggled to fit in. A lot of our music deals with places and people outside of the city, so it’s really important to us to take our music there. Living in a regional centre myself, I know how much people appreciate touring artists coming to town. Can’t wait!”
For regional Victorians, purchase tickets to the show of your choice via Small Town Big Sound, knowing the booking fee will go towards supporting a better start for disadvantaged Indigenous students. Countdown the days to live music’s return to regional Victoria, courtesy of some of Australia’s most exciting and thought-provoking acts at Small Town Big Sound, in times when it is needed most.
Tickets and further info at https://smalltownbigsound.com.au/