Despite ominous weather forecast for a very hot day on Saturday and rain on Sunday, the feed-back was very positive from those who had attended last weekend's inaugural Shepparton Shake-Out Rockabilly Festival. I wasn't there on the opening Friday night but had a great time on Saturday & Sunday.
There was just so much to do and see. Non-stop music all day & night, live bands from overseas and local Aussie bands, non-stop dancing of course plus a host of other fun-filled activities including hotrods & Kustoms classic cars display, merchandise and food stores, carnival rides for the kids & family, Miss Pin Up & 1950's fashion parade, dance classes and competition.
The Shepparton Showground was a fantastic venue to hold a 1950's style music and show & shine hotrods festival. Unlike Camperdown, there was no problem with finding accommodation with a big range of accommodation providers in Shepparton and surrounding townships. The venue has a large car park for patrons and a large oval for hotrod & cars display and merchandise stores. It has two large band stages & dance floors under cover, and the rockabilly stage was especially welcome as it was air-conditioned and therefore very popular when it was very hot on Saturday. In addition, there was a room for dance classes as well an open stage for the Miss Pin Up and 1950's fashion parade.
As usual, there was a big selection of overseas and local Aussie bands to entertain the patrons that came from Victoria and inter-states. Overseas bands included the Vargas Brothers & Gamblers Mark from the USA, CC Jerome from the Netherlands and Shorty Jetson from Belgium. Local Aussie bands included many my favourites like the Detonators, Benny & the Flyby Niters, Hank Jalopy Demons, Kieron McDonald, Three Loaders, Phoenix, Robyn & the Rancheros, Kitty Martini, the Jump Devils, Silverados from Adelaide, Twang and Route 66 from Queensland and Bad Luck Kitty from NSW. Bands were playing concurrently on two stages but nevertheless, I still got to see and dance to most of the bands in action.
The Rock n Roll dance competition was well attended with a big field of competitors including many younger dancers competing for the first time. Great to see dancers showcasing the competitive side of Rock n Roll dancing. I think the winners were from the Albury R&R Dance School taught by Johnny Phung who himself was a former VRRDA Rock & Roll dance champion back in the 1990's.
Finally, I think general public & family participation was a bit down in numbers due mainly to the inclement weather. Increasing participation level from the general public & family is an an area that could be looked for next year's event. All in all, it was a fun event and all those who attended had a great time. Thanks to the Shepparton council and Arthur (the promoter) for organising this year's Shepparton Shake-Out Rockabilly Festival.