Festival is music to our ears

In the heart of summer there are a few things we can't get enough of, and music festivals are definitely on top of the list.

On Saturday, February 4, the heart of Mt Eliza Village is where you and your friends can gather and enjoy the Mt Eliza Music Festival.  The event takes place throughout the village - in cafes and restaurants, three outdoor stages and eight busking locations, where more than 70 musical acts will perform.

Expect bands, soloists, DJs, family entertainment, buskers and much more, day and night.  Among those already confirmed are Josh Cashman, Reuben Stone, the beautiful Thando Sikwila (the 23-year-old from The Voice) and the major musical production Dreamgirls.  More performers will be announced over the coming months.

The Zimbabwean Thando moved to Melbourne only five years ago from Canberra to pursue her career and passion.  “It's the feeling of making a genuine difference in someone's life and seeing people through tough times and celebrating the great ones,” Thando says.  “I'm lucky to be a performer and experience bringing that kind of joy to people.” 

Thando has never been to the Peninsula and is looking forward to experiencing a new part of Victoria.   “And of course to perform; you guys can expect an energetic set reminiscent of Aretha-style belts, a sassy backing vocal section and a groovy band that plays for the gods.  You'll find it hard not to bop along with us.”

The Mt Eliza Musical Festival kicks off from noon and entry is free.  More at mtelizamusicfestival.com       

Main Street comes alive

The Main Street Mornington Festival returns for the 21st time this year.  This free, family-friendly event runs from 11am-5pm on Sunday, October 16, and Frankly Frankston is a proud sponsor.

Festival director Christina Nolan says: “It’s such a pleasure to bring this event, which is extremely popular with locals and visitors from afar, to the community each year and we really appreciate all the ongoing support provided by our sponsors, local businesses and organisations, community groups and volunteers.”

Mornington’s Main Street will once again be transformed into a stage showcasing our arts, culture, food and wine.  The festival celebrates the best of the Peninsula’s gourmet produce, boutique wineries, artists, musicians, dance troupes, singer-songwriters and performers. There will be a diverse range of stallholders and performers, and the program is available on the festival website.

For the kids there’s animal petting, mini-golf, dancing, face-painting and more. Nova Star Productions stilt walkers will hover above the crowd and Go Go Entertainment mascots will roam the festival. 

Performance spaces and stages will feature a mixture of up-and-coming artists and seasoned performers. The EastLink stage will feature acts such as Sarah Rzek, who recently signed with Molly Meldrum’s label Luxor, and reggae band Ras Jahknow.  You will also see cover bands, singer-songwriters, school bands and more on the other stages. 

Other highlights include a Totally Wilde Magic performance and a drum workshop by Dudlee Djembe.  There will be fresh seasonal produce growers, delicious food and a large selection of Australia’s best wine-makers, showcasing what the Peninsula has to offer. Pencil the festival into your diary for Sunday, October 16, and tag your posts with #MSMF.  

The annual event is produced by the volunteers of Northern Mornington Peninsula Tourism Inc.  Major sponsors are EastLink and the Mornington Peninsula Shire. More: www.mainstreetfestival.com.au or Facebook: /MainStreetMorningtonFestival

Mental illness in the frame

Peninsula artists will share their insights into mental illness at the 2016 Mental Health Week Peninsula Art Exhibition. 

Presented by Mentis Assist, the exhibition runs until Saturday, October 22, at Frankston’s Cube 37 and showcases the work of artists with a lived experience of mental illness, including carers and family members. 

For Peter Fanton, whose painting Justified and Ancient (pictured) won best artwork at last year's exhibition, art is “a means by which I bring into focus that which matters to me.  In terms of recovery and my wellness strategies, art allows me to connect and express my values and what has meaning to me”.

The exhibition is about more than just art, however.  It is about the importance of community support in breaking down stigmas and enabling people to access the treatment and care they need to manage and recover from their illness.  In the Frankston/Mornington Peninsula area there are higher levels of mental health than the Victorian average and many are not aware of or have difficulty accessing services available in the community. 

Mentis Assist provides specialised mental health support for people 16 years and over living in the Frankston and Mornington Peninsula areas.  Its services include homelessness support, activity groups within the community, youth support, carer and family outreach, and tailored care for individuals from dedicated support workers. 

For more information about the exhibition, visit mentisassist.org.au/mental-health-art-exhibition

Foreshore RockFest revives a classic era

With Rosebud’s long history as a great place to enjoy summer beach holidays, what better place to revive the fun-filled ‘50s and ‘60s lifestyle?

This new festival, Foreshore RockFest, will run over three days from November 25-27 and will involve a series of different music, dance, movie, car and vintage shopping events.  In its first year, all activity will be based in Rosebud.

The fun starts on Friday evening with a beach party in the Rosebud Scout Hall.  A new show added to the program is the Mark Andrews Legends Show at GPO Hotel from 7pm.  Mark is a renowned Elvis impersonator and his show will focus on Elvis, Austen Powers and Tom Jones, among others. On Saturday morning the town centre will rock with hot rod and ‘chrome bumper’ cars on show, ‘50s performers and dancers along the footpath and a ‘50s and ‘60s market running at Rosebud Primary School.  The market will include clothing, food, DJs, live bands and dance demonstrations, with a gold coin entry.  The vintage shops in town will pump with music, fashion and bargains while the cinema will feature a classic Audrey Hepburn movie. 

Saturday evening will provide fans of the ‘50s and ‘60s with multiple dance venues hosting live bands, including the Lincolns, Fender Benders and Honey B and the Stingers, along with a special Elvis double feature at the Dromana 3 Drive-In.

Sunday will see a pre-1970s hot rod and classic car show on the Village Green, featuring hundreds of cars and vintage caravans, with live music.  For the fashionistas from the era, a vintage clothing and ‘pin up’ contest will also be held in the Memorial Hall next to the car show.  The market will continue at the Rosebud Primary School on Sunday from 10am.  All events will culminate at 3pm.

Tickets are available online and are essential for many events.  Don’t delay because they are selling out rapidly.  For tickets and full details, check out foreshorerockfest.com.au or Facebook Foreshore Rockfest.

Best of both worlds

Living in Two Worlds is not only the title of Marion Parker’s latest solo exhibition, it also sums up the Mt Martha artist.

“I was always told to ‘come back down to earth’, or ‘stop daydreaming’, as I’ve always had my mind or spirit in the non-physical world,” she says.  “And so the title of this show is all about my two distinctive styles - of the physical world of earthly landscapes where I’m inspired by nature, and the ethereal non-physical world where I paint my abstracts and am inspired by quantum physics and the metaphysical.”

Marion was a naturopath who treated such celebrities as George Foreman.  She had clinics in Sydney and Melbourne, wrote a few books, had health columns, a radio show and even a racehorse - then she had an epiphany and gave it all away to move to Mt Martha and paint.
After 10 years, with her art now selling internationally and her name becoming known in art circles, Marion feels she’s only getting warmed up and that the best is yet to come.  One thing is for sure, though - she wouldn’t be doing anything else.

Living in Two Worlds is at the Frankston Arts Centre until December 10. 
Details: marionparker.com.au, and phone Marion on 5974 8816.

Cup Eve concert a clear winner

Tenor and composer David Hobson is one of Australia’s best known operatic and recording artists and will be performing at Frankston Arts Centre for one night only.
David’s unique talents have enabled him to sing for The Queen, win Dancing with the Stars and play such diverse roles as Rodolfo in La Boheme and Caractacus Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

An Intimate Evening with David Hobson, on Monday, October 31 (Cup Eve) at 7.30pm, highlights a collection of arias and songs from his diverse career and spans the genres of opera, music theatre and contemporary repertoire.  Together with talented pianist and guitarist David Cameron, this promises to be an entertaining evening of fine music-making.
Book at thefac.com.au or phone 9784 1060.  Tickets from $54-$59.

A: 27-37 Davey St, Frankston
T: 9784 1051
W: artscentre.frankston.vic.gov.au

The Main event

Mornington’s Main St will be the centre of the universe on Sunday, October 16, when the 21st annual Main Street Mornington Festival showcases the best wine, food, music, art, entertainment and shopping from across the Peninsula.

As well as several stages featuring Peninsula-based performers and bands, there will be a community stage, roving artists and musicians, and a children’s arcade providing entertainment throughout the day. 

The festival runs from 11am-5pm and entry is free.  Details: mainstreetfestival.com.au/ or facebook.com/MainStreetMorningtonFestival