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CresFest 2022

April 4th, 2022CresFest 2022

Cold Central Victoria-type weather seemed to sync with the end of daylight saving, perfectly setting the scene for a new, sprawling and cosy music festival - Creswick's CresFest.

Cold Central Victoria-type weather seemed to sync with the end of daylight saving, perfectly setting the scene for a new, sprawling and cosy music festival – Creswick’s CresFest.

Beautiful snug and toasty venues, all within easy walking distance, ranging from open mics , intimate gigs in the fabulous Leavers Hotel venue to large scale concerts at the Town Hall, made for a successful community festival, reminiscent of the early days of Port Fairy and Apollo Bay festivals.

Lucy Wise

The opening night featured a wonderful primary school concert coordinated by Stella Savy, which provided the perfect launching pad for a beautifully curated evening. The folk/country songs of Lucy Wise in trio mode , featured the superb violin work of Kat Mear ( Cash Savage , amongst others) and some beautiful traditional Appalachian instruments.

Emma Donovan

Emma Donovan delivered a blistering set, combining a style which perfectly combines traditional soul with Indigenous themes, language and imagery. Emma’s band The Putbacks were stunning. Both weekend days combined free street events with the ticketed events of the town’s venues. (Side note, the festivals ticketing system was confusing and convoluted, it must have provided endless frustration for the hard working volunteers, explaining it to punters on repeat, it definitely needs to be tweaked to include a pass which allows entry to all events next year – enough said!)

Zourouna

Saturday evening at the aforementioned Leavers Hotel was magnificent. Zourouna were mesmerizing, playing a jaw dropping set which played a selection of pieces from throughout the Middle East, having the audience spellbound. Jali Byba Kuyateh played with a five-piece band well into the evening with music from Western Africa, the first of two gigs across the weekend. Over at the Town Hall, Eric Bogle played to a packed house of loyal followers, a definite drawcard.

Eric Bogle

Like all great festivals – too much to take in and spoiled for choice – and a big congratulations to all involved for getting this off the ground, the excitement of being back in venues again was palpable. Oh, and after all these years, a timely reminder to stop and try some of these venues for dinner or a drink, some of us, ahem, have driven past for years, without a second thought. Creswick, a new festival on the map.

Words & images: Darren Lowe



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