MOYSTON - World class music acts, a fantastic family atmosphere and perfect Australia Day weather added up to a successful inaugural Moyston Live Music festival which has received high praise from all participants, attracting around 300 people to the Moyston Recreation Reserve.
Moyston Live emerged from the regular Ararat Live gigs instigated by Dave Nicholson and other local live music lovers two years ago, which have been attracting a regular crowd to the Ararat Hotel.
Many of the musos who performed at Moyston Live are regulars at Ararat Live and all agreed it was a laid back and enjoyable gig at Moyston under the marquee at the Moyston Recreation Reserve.
The music kicked off early in the afternoon with the Mahony Brothers who were followed by Gallie, professional busker Tim Scanlan, gutsy blues artist Shaun Kirk, the grungy rock sounds of Dirt River Radio and Ararat Live favourites Van Walker and Liz Stringer.
The night fired up when another Ararat Live and Lake Bolac Eel Festival favourite Carus Thompson hit the stage, managing to get the crowd up and dancing in preparation for the headliner, Mick Thomas, who loved his previous performances in Ararat and Moyston so much he returned to get the crowd rocking again.
Committee person Debbie Shea said the musicians loved the day, many staying overnight, and were also happy with the merchandise they managed to sell.
"Carus said he thought it had a great vibe, a different atmosphere to the Eel Festival," Ms Shea said.
The family atmosphere saw parents setting up small camps outside the main marquee to keep the kids entertained and away from the crowd there to enjoy the music.
"It was a good crowd and everyone was there to listen to the music," she said.
"We were hoping for 200 to 250, so we were pleased with the numbers. We had about 220 to 250 and together with volunteers, about 300 overall."
People came from Geelong, Hamilton, Warrnambool, Melbourne, New South Wales, Stawell, Ararat and surrounding districts.
Ms Shea praised the support of the Moyston Willaura Football Netball Club, Grampians Event Hire as well as Pacific Hydro, Ararat Rural City and Department of Planning and Community Development who provided grants.
Ararat Live will continue, with regular gigs already lined up for the coming months, but the committee has yet to decide whether to run the Moyston Live festival again next year.
"We've been encouraged to do something along the same lines next year, but what format it will take we will have to wait and see," Ms Shea said.