19 October 2023

Iconic Aussie band set to Rock the Bidgee

| Michael Murphy
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Chocolate Starfish

90s rockers Chocolate Starfish are gearing up to Rock the Bidgee. Photo: Supplied.

The banks of the Murrumbidgee River are set to rock to the sounds of iconic Aussie band Chocolate Starfish on Saturday 28 October, with the Gundagai Business Network (GBN) hosting the inaugural Rock the Bidgee music festival at the Gundagai Racecourse.

Made famous by the songs You’re so Vain and Mountain, Chocolate Starfish had two ARIA top 10 albums and six top 50 singles during the 90s, and will be joined by several other regional and local acts at this family-friendly event.

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Shaun Ryan is the GBN’s project manager for Rock the Bidgee and he told Region the local business group had worked hard to put the concert together, with entertainment and rides for kids, as well as on-site food and beverage facilities to be available on the day.

“Rock the Bidgee has been made possible by a grant from the NSW Government, and through the efforts of some hardworking community members who came together to form the Gundagai Business Network in 2022,” he said.

“Our aim is to create a live music event for the whole community to enjoy. Also, as a business network it is our aim to support local business by attracting visitors to the town.”

Chocolate Starfish are gearing up to celebrate 30 years of music in 2024.

Chocolate Starfish are gearing up to celebrate 30 years of music in 2024. Photo: Supplied.

Gundagai has a great reputation for hosting unique events that attract people from all over the state, and the GBN hope that a music festival on the banks of the beautiful Murrumbidgee River will provide locals and visitors with another date on the calendar to pencil in.

The music festival will begin at midday and run until 9 pm, with travel to and from the site made easier by shuttle buses that will depart from Sheridan Street.

Joe Torre, promotions and communications coordinator for Chocolate Starfish, said the band was thrilled to be part of the inaugural Rock the Bidgee Festival.

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While Chocolate Starfish will attract many music fans, the support acts booked for the event will give fans an opportunity to watch some great local and regional musical talent.

Darren Jaynoy, Liquid Sun, Captain Jack, Rhythm Sect and Velvetstyle will keep the music coming, while award-winning artist Andrew Swift will also be among the performers.

The GBN was established in response to feedback from local businesses, and it was these businesses that were consulted about the idea of a music festival when it was first floated.

The network committee is made up of local business owners and representatives who are passionate about promoting, informing and networking with the local business community.

Gundagai Business Network committee

Gundagai Business Network committee: Thomas Franklin, Cat Creek, Renee Lindley, Tim Hyde, Shaun Ryan, Penny Nicholson, Sharon Elworthy. Photo: GBN.

GBN committee member and local business owner Renee Lindley said there had been a lot of excitement from across the region about the upcoming event.

“We have had a great response from not just Gundagai locals, but surrounding towns as well, so I would urge anyone making the trip to book their accommodation early,” Ms Lindley said.

“We are keen to make Rock the Bidgee an annual event. The Gundagai Racecourse is situated right on the banks of the Murrumbidgee, making it a fantastic location for a music festival.”

With community and the support of local business being the focus of the GBN initiative, Ms Lindley said the committee went to great lengths to make the day an affordable one.

“We have set the tickets at $15 per person, but kids under 12 are free, which we hope will allow families to attend and enjoy all of the entertainment, food trucks and pop-up bars that will be on site.”

Tickets for Rock the Bidgee can be purchased online through eventbrite.

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