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The Queenscliff Music Festival descends on the Bellarine Peninsula's picturesque shores on Friday 26th to Sunday the 28th of November. It is, by far, my favourite music festival given the excellent selection of artists providing something for everyone in the charismatic town of Queenscliff (also often spelled Queenscliffe).
This year's line-up is no exception, with headline acts including Rockwiz Live, Kate Miller-Heidke, Mark Seymour (formerly of the great Aussie band, Hunters and Collectors), John Williamson, Ash Grunwald, The Black Sorrows, Frank Yamma (known as the 'indigenous Johnny Cash'), and a Stevie Wonder Tribute Showcase, just to name a few.
Don't underestimate both the variety of music and the incredible talent on offer, with genres spanning all tastes: blues, roots, rock, pop, soul, classical, jazz, country, folk, world music, reggae and acoustic.
In addition to the big names, emerging artists will also be strutting their stuff, and often for free. As you wander down the main street, follow the sounds of music and you'll also come across some very entertaining buskers.
The best way to do the festival is get yourself a program, either online or at Queenscliff, and circle acts of interest. (The one provided at the festival includes an informative blurb on each artist.) There is so much going on and you want to make sure you grab yourself a good spot from which to enjoy your favourite artists. If you want to catch an act on the very popular Blues Train, which chugs its melodic way along Swan bay, yet there nice and early.
It's also a good idea to familiarise yourself with the location of the venues, so you're not wasting time getting lost when you could be jigging along to some fab music. It's all pretty central though, with the main festival precinct located at the end of the street by the sea, and other venues (most of them exquisite, like the Apostle, the Atrium and Vue Grand) lining the main street.
Ticket prices range from $40 for the Friday night to $175 for the entire festival, with children under 13 admitted free with an accompanying adult. It's actually good value for money because in addition to a fabulous array of music experiences, you can soak up a convivial, family-friendly atmosphere in an idyllic town. If a ticket's going to stretch the budget, come along anyway as there' plenty of free music and entertainment, and a great market, lining Hesse Street.
Accommodation fills fast (many book a year in advance!), so if you need to, stay at a neighbouring town and drive or catch the shuttle bus in.