Fans chill to summer soul
SUMMER of Soul music festival was filled with relaxing beats under the shade of the old trees at Mossvale Park, Berrys Creek, on Saturday.
The festival was a family-friendly affair that attracted many tourists to the local area, as well as some who live closer to home.
The headliner of the night, Felix Riebl, front man of the acclaimed The Cat Empire, delighted the crowd with his new band Paper Doors.
As well as the international acts Lake Street Dive from Boston, Massachusetts and Vieux Farka Toure, a Malian singer and guitarist, the festival also allowed up-and-coming bands to get their names out there and find new fans.
That Gold St Sound, The Sugarcanes, The Meltdown, and G.L. played for a riveted crowd, either hyping them up with dance numbers or brought them back down with slow, mellow tunes.
The Do Yo Thangs played for the first time at the festival after releasing their first EP late last year. While they loved playing their set to a new crowd, they were surprised to have fans who had come just to see them.
“Apart from the heat, I’ve loved it. I’m from West Gippsland so it’s great to be back here,” Do Yo Thangs vocalist Audrey Powne said.
She is no stranger to the festival, admitting she had played trumpet in a different band previously, but the recognition she felt with the band this year is what the festival is really about: allowing new artists a place to perform.
Band mate Hugh Rabinovici described the festival’s atmosphere glowingly, “It’s a really good vibe here. I think it’s probably one of the friendlier places I’ve played in lately.”
Hundreds of picnic rugs and camp chairs were set up on the green lawns at the park as people from all walks of life and ages settled in for a full day of soulful tunes.
Ian Bevington, of organisers Lyrebird Arts Council, started running music events in the area in 2002 with partner Susan Henderson.
“It was absolutely amazing thanks to the community and all the volunteers who helped out on the day,” he said.
“We had professionals in to do the sound and lighting that were sponsored by local businesses.
“The event was well-attended and festival goers had a great day. There was so much shade and people are just so friendly.
“Something about the park brings out the best in people.”
Mr Bevington said Mossvale Park was “the jewel in the crown”.
“The park is purpose built for the community to enjoy life in general. It’s underutilised. We are so blessed; there is only one Mossvale Park and it is a beautiful park,” he said.
More than 20,000 litres of water was available on the day to help people cool down.
“Volunteers from Lyrebird Arts Council and the general community were a massive help. They do all the jobs needed and it’s a powerfully great crew,” Mr Bevington said.
“We thank the people of the South Gippsland community for supporting us. We’re a not for profit group. We don’t do it for the money; we do it for the love.”
The music started at 2pm and continued throughout the day as the sun slowly set and only finished up late in the evening at about 11pm.
The natural acoustics of the park meant that every song could be heard from even the furthest corner of the park and the lack of mobile phone reception allowed festival-goers to just experience the moment of the music.
For the sixth year running, the festival has captured the hearts of many music fans and reinforced their motto that music is the key to the soul of a culture.
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