Looking for a great night out

September 06, 2017

Fortessima performs at last year's Winter Sessions.

I went hard on Shepparton’s live music scene in a column in May.

It was partly inspired by heading to Groovin’ The Moo in Bendigo and having a blast.

Shepparton could easily do something like that.

Having a touring festival pop into Shepparton would not just benefit music-loving people, but give the whole region a boost.

Think about all those young people spending money which is supposed to be going on a house deposit on delicious hungover smashed avocados and flat whites the day after?

The possibilities are endless.

In 2011, the 3630 Festival went ahead at Shepparton Showgrounds and acts like Angus and Julia Stone played to about 1500 people.

Unfortunately due to a number of factors, it was limited to a one-off.

Organising such an event is long, arduous and costs plenty of cash.

I would love to see Greater Shepparton City Council throw money and resources towards a similar event.

There is currently no suitable venue in the city which is going to attract many quality Australian bands or artists to make the journey to Shepparton, even for a night.

That definitely needs to change.

Yahoo Bar used to get some great bands up to play, but who knows when, or if that will ever re-open.

When a town the size of Barooga can convince a much-loved band like Grinspoon to play a gig there this month and Shepparton can’t, you know there is a problem.

While it is disappointing we can’t see bands like the Grinners in Shepparton, it isn’t all doom and gloom.

Far from it.

We have to look at the work being done in Shepparton to promote local musicians and push them to the front.

The Winter Sessions has been giving up-and-coming artists a go for a number of years.

From starting out in a cosy environment at Lemon Tree Cafe and then Friars Cafe, it has expanded to The Vault and even includes a six-show run this year.

There has been a strong demand for every show, with all five selling out in quick time.

The last one for this year is scheduled for September 22, before The Secret Garden Gigs start next month.

Taking the stage later this month at The Vault will be Days of Daze, Tenielle McKenzie and Harrison Brown, while the act most loved during this year’s run will be invited to play again through a vote competition.

I went along to my first Winter Sessions gig last month and it was a great night out.

You have awesome people playing terrific music in a casual environment, with excellent food and drinks.

What more could you possibly want for a Friday night?

The organisers, led by the passionate Jamie Lea, put in a power of work to get these events up and going.

That hard work is paying off with the success of The Winter Sessions.

May let it continue for lovers of live music, good times and the prosperity of Shepparton in general.

Oliver Caffrey is The News’ sports editor.

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