A festival for the ages

Cat Empire in full swing at the Queenscliff Festival.
Cat Empire in full swing at the Queenscliff Festival.

EARLY on day two of the 16th Queenscliff Music Festival Leonie Kingdom from Hervey Bay joined other young singers on the Hippos Stage, playing to kids, mums and dads, teenagers and a panel of judges.

On Saturday night it was rock 'n' roll royalty You Am I who were due to represent the other end of the musical spectrum, with their well worn, well known gems for a sun-drenched crowed packed tightly in front of the Lighthouse stage.

In between those two extremes ARIA award winning singer/songwriter Gurrumul played songs inspired by his home in north-east Arnhem Land, and folk singer Jordie Lane drew a large crowd in the Pelican Bar as folks wandered around the seaside festival site.

Lisa Mitchell played tracks from her new album as the mid-afternoon heat eased and Shannon Noll began revving up the crowd with his sing-a-long rock songs.

In the increasingly crowded festival market, organisers of the Queenslciff Music Festival pitch perfectly to local music lovers and those escaping the city for a relaxing weekend away. There's kids entertainment, an array of tempting foods on offer and shuttle buses run every 20-minutes to ferry people in and out of the festival site.

On Friday night, the Cat Empire made a welcome return after last playing the festival in 2003 and their reception could be measured by the rousing applause after every song.

Friday night also featured Mildura's Jackson Firebird, the duo who made headlines around the world after a Melbourne bar stuck by them instead of cancelling their show to host a private party for Lady Gaga.

On Sunday there's more entertainment from Blues songstress Mia Dyson, the Fauves, guitarist Lloyd Spiegel and hot indie act Money For Rope among many others.

This story A festival for the ages first appeared on The Age.