Queenscliff Music Festival 2019 announces its first lineup of international and home-grown hit makers
After selling out its last three years, the music jewel of the Bellarine the Queenscliff Music Festival is back for its 23rd year with a killer first round line up of local and global artists.
Icons performing on the Peninsula this November are a mix of solo sensations and chart-topping bands. Multi-award winning singer-songwriter Missy Higgins and multi-talented musician, broadcaster and sometime actor Clare Bowditch will be flying the female frontrunners flag, and country music star Troy Cassar-Daley and blistering blues-rocker Ash Grunwald will bring the songbook swag. New Zealand are lending legend Tim Finn, who will bring his adored back catalogue of hits from Split Enz to solo days, and British percussive guitar master Newton Faulkner will perform his latest and greatest with gusto.
Spectacular showmen The Cat Empire and Melbourne’s own future soul quartet and (twice Grammy hopefuls!) Hiatus Kaiyote will bring the big band sounds, along with folk trio stalwarts The Waifs and fan favourite intergalactic rockers The Delta Riggs. Another flock of eclectic entries on the international front are coming coast-side in 2019 too. Canada’s Juno Award nominated artist and producer Alysha Brilla will showcase her cross-cultural roots, Southern Californian surf rockers Allensworth are perfectly placed to bring the coastal grooves whilst Nashville-based touring troubadour and cult-followed entertainer Steve Poltz will once again grace our shores with his dynamic and dexterous on-stage antics.
More Aussie acts rounding out the announce are adored satirical singer-songwriters Paul McDermott & Gatesy, Rhiannon Atkinson-Howatt’s indie-pop alter ego Merpire, Americana eight-piece Fools, six piece rhythm n’ roots outfit Amaru Tribe, Sydney jazz trio Brekky Boy, dance-inducing Dubarray from the Sunshine Coast, Tamworth-raised, Sydney-based singer-songwriter Charlie Collins, Tasmanian folksinger Claire Anne Taylor and eighteen year-old indie, rock & soul up-and-comer Stevie Jean have been announced to perform too.
A weekend-long celebration of live music, family-friendly activities, craft beers, fine wines, local produce and more, it’s no wonder the Queenscliff Music Festival and its picturesque locations attract musicians, entertainers and visitors from all over the country as well as overseas. The festival team are also incredibly aware of their environmental footprint as an event that sees approx 20,000 people come through each year, and are immensely proud of the 90.07% of waste they were able to divert from landfill in 2018. The Queenscliff Music Festival have recycled all plastics into picnic tables and benches, so attendees of this year’s festival will most likely be sitting on and eating off the results of this great initiative.
And in recent ticket news, weekend passes and Camping & Glamping are on sale now with single day tickets going on sale on the 1st of July.
The 23rd Queenscliff Music Festival will run from 22nd – 24th November 2019.
The first line up announcement is:
Alysha Brilla (CAN)
The Cat Empire
Claire Anne Taylor
The Delta Riggs
Newton Faulkner (UK)
Paul McDermott & Gatesy
Steve Poltz (USA)
Tim Finn (NZ)
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“Allensworth” is a Southern California Soul quintet that fuses rock and soul into a melting pot of true life anthemic stories. The authentic sound derives from the bands diverse cultures and surroundings. Known to captivate and move any audience, this band thrives on showmanship through infectious rhythms, clever word play, and soulful grooves. Allensworths live show has generated a buzz both in the states and abroad, playing venues and festivals from the U.S to Australia. Jamie Allensworth has opened for funk pioneer James Brown and has shared the stage with Prince, Stevie Wonder and George Clinton. http://allensworthmusic.com
Alysha Brilla (CAN)
3X Juno Award (Canada’s Grammy) nominated Alysha Brilla is a critically acclaimed Indo-Tanzanian Canadian songwriter and producer who just released her fourth album, Rooted. Brilla’s new music draws on the influences of her unique background; blending Indian & East African sounds with a contemporary aesthetic. Lyrically, Brilla writes about the value of love, equity and spirituality in times of global and personal turmoil. Brilla has toured internationally with her band including in South America, Asia, Africa, Europe and across North America.
This tribe of six are bound through strings, skins and wood. Emerging from their trans-oceanic journey they unite in the city of Melbourne to create music that embodies ancestral and urban sounds. In the Quechuan language, Amaru is the serpent that connects the spiritual and the subterranean world. The Tribe´s deep connection with their roots and mythology is nurtured through their songlines. Amazonic drums, vibrating charangos and powerful vocal harmonies give birth to a new sound, Oceanic Cumbia. The tribes songs are a personal and collective work connected to topics of social change, ancestral wisdom, love, life and everything that moves us. Nominated for Best Roots and World Music Album at The Age Music Awards in 2017 for their debut selftitled Album “Amaru Tribe” the bands popularity continues to rise as it makes its presence in Festivals around the country including Strawberry Fields (NSW), The Lost Lands (VIC), Melbourne Festival, Blenheim Music Festival (SA) and more. A new exciting project produced by well-known singer and performer Oscar Jimenez (aka Watussi’s front-man) together with an talented and diverse group of Melbourne based artists, songwriters and well known musicians from Australia, Colombia, Argentina, Chile and Venezuela. https://www.amarutribe.com
Acclaimed as one of Australia’s finest storytellers and live performers Ash Grunwald is set to release a new album in 2019. The album will coincide with the release of Ash’s first book, Surf By Day, Jam By Night. The book combines Ash’s two passions – music and surfing. Through conversations with Kelly Slater, Steph Gilmore, Jack Johnson, Dave Rastovich, Jaleesa Vincent, G. Love, and many more, Ash discusses flow states, jamming versus shredding, style, transcendence, fear, career longevity, growth mindset, mindfulness and what it’s really like to live your dreams.
Piano-driven powerhouse ‘jazznotjazz’ trio Brekky Boy perform musical works written predominantly about dogs. The Sydney based outfit has carved out an invigorating original sound from a disparate array of influences: drawing on artists such as Tigran Hamasyan, Ólafur Arnalds, GoGo Penguin & The Bad Plus. Mixing harmonic landscapes with complex grooves and minimalist piano melodies, the trio brings something refreshingly vibrant and contemporary to the jazz genre. 2018 saw Brekky Boy feature at festivals such as Woodford Folk Festival, Mullum Music Festival, Queenstown Jazz Festival NZ & clubs in Japan. After a whirlwind first half of 2019 performing at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, Wellington Jazz Festival in New Zealand and Melbourne International Jazz Festival, Brekky Boy make their debut appearance at Queenscliff Music Festival 2019. https://brekkyboy.com
The Cat Empire
It is rumoured that the reason The Cat Empire headlines major festivals all over the world is because no band is brave enough to take the stage after them. Such is the power of their live show and world class musicianship, which sees their infectious, genre-embracing anthems sweep audiences into a dancing, singing frenzy. 7 albums into to a stellar career, these 6 musicians have fast become an international touring juggernaut and 2019 will be no exception.
Growing up in Tamworth, Collins was raised on a record collection of storytelling, and from the young age of 11 was pushing her way on to the stage of the local pub. Having played in various bands both in Australia and overseas, Collins is now returning to her roots of authentic songwriting.
Clare Anne Taylor
Claire Anne Taylor grew up in Tasmania’s ancient Tarkine rainforest, where she was born into her Father’s hands in the family barn. Taylor and her five siblings were raised in a quaint bush home, rich with creativity and music. During her childhood, the Taylor barn was home to a family of Tasmanian Devils and some say that Taylor developed her unique, raspy singing style from nights spent listening to the devils growling beneath the floorboards. Taylor crafts soulful folk songs that capture both the beautiful and dark elements of the human experience. Her music ranges from warm, mesmerising ballads to epic anthems. With vivid storytelling, colossal vocals and a powerfully captivating stage presence, her live shows leave the audience in no doubt that they have just witnessed something extraordinary. https://www.claireannetaylor.com
Clare Bowditch is an ARIA Award-winning singer, songwriter, sometimes actor (as Rosanna Harding on the hit Channel 10 show Offspring), speaker, writer, creative-business mentor and broadcaster. She’s had Top Ten albums, been named Rolling Stone Woman of the Year, Yen Young Woman of the Year (Music), co-written with Gotye, toured with Leonard Cohen, written for Harpers Bazaar and the Drum, and played in every venue, festival and truck stop in Australia at least two hundred times each. From 2016 to 2017 Clare hosted the Afternoons program on ABC Melbourne taking over from Richard Stubbs. Currently Clare is writing and recording her sixth solo album and also preparing her debut book, both set for release in 2018.
The Delta Riggs
Despite modern pressures, The Delta Riggs have stayed true to themselves. They’ve remained busy on the road, meeting and performing for real people, listening to their stories and creating genuine connections. It’s these stories, mashed with sweat, swagger, and guitars that has influenced the band’s fourth self-produced record, due for release later this year.
One of Australia’s most dynamic touring artists, world electro soul act Dubarray are troubadours of song alchemy when it comes to entertainment through creating a sonic musical bliss. The band have released four albums, returned to tour Europe five times & have hit the Australian road for numerous national tours. The band have been including something a little different in the form of live music yoga session performances called ‘Prana Sessions’ which are becoming rapidly popular on the festival and touring circuit. https://www.dubarray.com
Queenscliff Music Festival signals the arrival of Fools as one of Australia’s most audacious musical outfits. The influence of Americana, rock and soul is prominent in their music, yet never derivative, as the carefully assembled thirteen-piece band put their originality and rareness in the Australian music scene at the centre of everything they do. Chief songwriter / singer / guitarist Luke O’Connor stands in the centre of a musical hurricane, featuring dual drums, guitars, hammond organ, backing vocalists and a full horn section. https://www.foolstheband.com
Melbourne contemporary soul outfit Hiatus Kaiyote is a collaboration between four individuals. Their sound references a swathe of influences – electric, acoustic, futuristic, psychedelic, progressive, soothing and urgent – slipping in and out genre and defying definition. After releasing their debut album Tawk Tomahawk in 2013, they received a swag of awards as well as nods from Prince, Pharrell Williams, Erykah Badu and Common. Their collaboration on a new version of “Nakamarra” with A Tribe Called Quest legend Q-Tip earned them a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Performance, making Australian history as the first band to be nominated in the category. http://hiatuskaiyote.com/
2018 was an undeniably huge year for Rhiannon Atkinson-Howatt. The brain behind transfixing nom de guerre Merpire, Rhiannon has quickly grown from nascent head-turner to powerful frontrunner of the local indie-pop scene. Nestling into her new Melbourne home, Merpire has released her debut EP Endless Chatter and play a slew of noteworthy live shows including a sold-out EP launch at The Gasometer Hotel. She has also supported the likes of Angie McMahon, Olympia, Phantastic Ferniture, Oh Pep! and Didirri on his National ‘Measurements’ Tour. The striking young artist conjures magical moments of danceable introspection both in the studio and on stage. Backed by an impressive and predominantly female line-up, a live show is a playful tease between intimate pop ballads and fully immersive indie-rock arrangements. https://www.merpiremusic.com
Australian singer-songwriter Missy Higgins has enjoyed phenomenal success with her irresistible melodies and ‘arrow through the heart’ lyrics, delivered by a striking voice. After touring the globe with her undeniable songs and unforgettable live performances, Missy’s highly acclaimed The Sound Of White, On A Clear Night and The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle have sold over two millions copies globally. She is a five-time chart topper and nine-time ARIA Award winner. In 2018, Missy announced her long awaited fifth studio album with its lead single ‘Futon Couch’ becoming her biggest radio success in a decade. Missy was also confirmed as the main support on Ed Sheeran’s ÷ Tour – the largest series of concerts in Australian history with nearly 1 million tickets sold – and she capped off 2018 with the release of a Best Of Collection. Recently Missy embarked on ta national co-headlining tour with John Butler Trio+
Newton Faulkner (UK)
Newton Faulkner first entered our world back in 2007, when his debut album Hand Built By Robots rocketed up the charts all the way to the number one spot. Since then, Newton has toured relentlessly around the world and 2009 saw the release of his second full-length album, Rebuilt By Humans. Newton’s latest album Write It On Your Skin, is out now. Faulkner tours with an array of multi-media weapons; including cameras, backlit screens, organ pedals, kick drums and even a real working cassette tape player. To see Newton live is truly unimaginable.
Paul McDermott & Gatesy
Songs of beauty, songs of heartbreak, freshly-minted comedy concoctions, old squabbles and spontaneous nonsense. Two of Australia’s most adored singer-songwriters lock harmonies and minds in one unmissable show. Paul McDermott (Doug Anthony All Stars) and Steven Gates (Tripod) are best known as the middle-men of two of Australia’s greatest musical-comedy trios, McDermott and Gates made their official debut as a musical duo at a one-off event at the 2017 Ballarat Cabaret Festival. The poetry of their lyrics and the beauty of their voices have enthralled audiences, with demands for further shows coming from all corners of Australia.
Steve Poltz (USA)
Steve Poltz returns to Australia for his, what must be 25,000th tour. In 20 years since his full-length solo debut, One Left Shoe, Steve blessed the world’s ears with thirteen solo records, spanning the acclaimed 2010 Dreamhouse and most recently, Shine On in 2019. As good as his albums are, Steve Poltz positively owns a crowd when he’s on stage. His shows are the stuff of legend. He can take an unsuspecting audience from laughter to tears and back again in the space of a single song. He is a master of improvisational songwriting and works without a set list to be free to react instantly to the mood of a room. As much as we try, it’s difficult to accurately describe the feeling in a room Steve Poltz is playing in so don’t miss out on your chance to be part of the experience.
Drawing from influences like the Doors, the Black Keys and early Lana Del Rey – and at just 18 years old – Stevie performs with strength and maturity. Boasting “a voice that you have to hear” (Dom Alessio) and a talent that “shines with strength” (Richard Kingsmill), Stevie has already made an impressive debut onto the Australian music scene. Her single ‘Hell in Every Religion’ took her to the Top 5 of Triple J’s Unearthed High competition and netted her a nomination for NT’s Best Live Voice at the 2017 National Live Music Awards, she has just received the same nomination for 2018. Her next single “Estranged” will be out in late October.
Tim Finn (NZ)
For Tim Finn, the magic has been happening over a long period…across generations, beyond horizons and around the world. One of the new century’s great classicists, Finn has a formidable reputation as a singer and songwriter. His lineage goes back to the group he co-founded in New Zealand in the early 1970′s, Split Enz. Alongside that is his praised solo work, as well as tenure with Crowded House (with brother Neil). Put simply Tim Finn is responsible for some of the most treasured and loved songs in modern music. From Six Months In A Leaky Boat, I See Red and Poor Boy to Persuasion, I Hope I Never, Made My Day and Fraction Too Much Friction. The timeless Weather With You, It’s Only Natural and Chocolate Cake. Finn’s collaborative spirit and willingness to push his musical limits has seen his career now span some four decades. Tim Finn continues to challenge his own lofty expectations and creative boundaries. Expect songs that document his life so far with an honesty and warmth that is irresistible. https://timfinn.com
Throughout his thirty years of making music, Troy Cassar-Daley has been awarded numerous accolades including 37 Golden Guitars, 4 ARIAs, 2 APRA Country Song of the Year awards, 9 Deadlys, 4 CMAA Entertainer of the Year awards plus 2 NIMAs. In 2017 Troy was honoured as the 50th inductee into the prestigious Australasian Roll Of Renown. With numerous gold and platinum records, Troy has achieved a staggering 31 Number 1 chart singles, all of which are collected on his new compilation album Greatest Hits. The forty-two songs contained within Greatest Hits have been the soundtrack to the everyday triumphs, struggles and good times of Australians from the city to the outback. 2019 has seen Troy touring Australia with the Greatest Hits Acoustic Show, hitting every state and territory. Fittingly Queenscliff Music Festival is the very last show of the tour. Troy is one man – one compelling performer and stunning songwriter – and a guitar. www.troycassardaley.com.au
The Waifs have always been friends with Australia’s wide, open roads. From the early days as a trio journeying across the country in their well-travelled transit van, the band’s own country roots have always shone through, winning them loyal fans along every step of the way over a quarter of a century. In 2017 The Waifs released their eighth album, Ironbark, which debuted on the ARIA Australian Album chart at #1, the band’s first chart-topper. If that wasn’t evidence enough of the continued love affair Australia has for the band, their shows since then have confirmed the heartfelt bond that is felt both ways between The Waifs and their audience. And now, after some years residing in Utah, Vikki Thorn has returned to live in Australia, enabling The Waifs to hit the road here more often. https://www.thewaifs.com