The Peninsular Picnic
Mornington Peninsular Racecourse
Saturday March 19

The sun is shining over the beautiful Mornington Peninsular as the crowd gather on picnic rugs and chairs for the Peninsular Picnic, finally taking place after a two year hiatus.

Opening the festival is local guitarist Steph Strings, who entertains the early comers with her entrancing guitar playing. The up-and -coming star is all smiles and at home on the stage. As the crowd files in, the twenty year old warms things up kicking off an exciting day of music.

As the smells of lamb cooking and wine being poured float through the air the Damon Smith Trio have stepped in for Amaru Tribe, filling in with some fantastic bluesy numbers. The trio are a pleasant surprise, playing songs from the forth- coming Midlife Crisis Blues.

If the music isn’t enough the food and wine is just sublime. Whether you’re in the mood for deep fried brie, a beautifully mixed sangria or deep fried calamari the festival has it all. From burgers to lamb meatballs the food is perfection. Local brewery St Andrews Brewery on hand to provide beverages along with Monalto making sure everyone is well lubricated for sing-a-longs.

Mama Kin Spender are next on the line up, resplendent with a full choir of back up singers to lend a hand. The duo are energetic and fun, and the crowd are up and dancing to the catchy beats. The sun shines down as Mama Kin beats her drum while Dingo Spender captivates with his onstage charm.

The breeze picks up bringing respite as Boy & Bear bring their brand of Indie Folk to the stage. The Sydney-siders are an eclectic bunch of performers, clearly having a lot of fun. The crowd is mesmerized, wide smiles a testament to how enjoyable the band are to watch. A sing-a-long breaks out when they cover Crowded House hit
Fall At Your Feet‘ a very unique and memorable rendition.

As the sun begins to dip on the horizon Australia’s favorite rock star Bernard Fanning rounds up what has been an amazing day. The entire crowd are wild with excitement and probably a little too much beer consumption as the Sunsets singer belts out hit after hit, taking cheeky swipes at the crowd in between songs. When an eager punter hands him a half drunk warm beer Bernard cracks a smile and places the not-so Covid beverage on the ground.

It’s been a long wait for this day, and to say it was fantastic is somewhat of an understatement. It’s been a day of brilliant Australian music, relaxing on the lush green grass and gorging on fresh food and drink. It’s been a return to normality, where people have come together to forget the last two years and join in a celebration of the music we love best.

Words and Images by Amanda Lee Starkey

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