Business & Tourism Creswick Inc.

CresFest 2022

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Music and Dance Encounters in Historic Creswick
Friday 1 - Sunday 3 April 2022

Join celebrated contemporary folk and world music artists for a weekend of joyful musical encounters in the forested gold rush town of Creswick.

The inaugural CresFest takes place in various historic buildings, local pubs, cafes and in the great outdoors over the weekend of 1 to 3 April 2022.

Live performances include: Emma Donovan and the Putbacks, The Eric Bogle Trio, Fools, The Royal High Jinx, Parvyn Singh and Josh Bennett, Evan and Mischa, Zourouna, Melbourne Scottish Fiddlers and more.

There will also be chances to perform and participate across the festival. Come and experience our blackboard concerts, sessions in different genres, a family dance, busking festival, a youth stage, music and dance workshops, a locals talent quest, and lots more.

Or sit back and enjoy the performances, sample local wine and produce, explore the history of the town, and take advantage of premium accommodation options.

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When:  Saturday 4 December 2021 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Where:  Creswick Town Hall, 70 Albert Street, CRESWICK

Ugly UnclesCentral Victoria's favourite larrikins - The Ugly Uncles - will bring their unique humour and jugalicious music to our the wonderful Creswick Town Hall. This will be the official public launch of CresFest. The Uncles will be supported by fiddle/banjo duo Kat Mear & Craig Woodward and Creswick's own Swingalong Ukestra, led by The Royal High Jinx's Jen Hawley. Note there will be a licensed bar and raffle tickets for purchase on the night! Supported Creative Victoria and Regional Arts Victoria.

Book your ticket at Trybooking


Where:  CresFest 2022 Raffle, Creswick, VIC
When:  Friday 22 October 2021 - Saturday 4 December 2021

CresFest RaffleWinner drawn at public launch. Win one of three great prizes:

1st prize: Festival-Goers pack valued at $800, including: 2 Festival passes; 2 tickets Friday night Gala; 2 tickets Saturday night Gala; 2 CresFest t-shirts; Breakfast voucher – Le Peche Gourmand; Dinner voucher – The American Hotel; Your very own soprano Ukelele – OPENING NIGHT GALA – OUR NIGHT OF NIGHTSdonated by Crossroads Music; 1 dozen mixed wines donated by Naked Wines. NB If you win first prize, we'll refund your equivalent ticket purchases on this site.

2nd prize: Comfort-lovers pack valued at $600 including: Weekend for two at local Airbnb; Creswick Woollen Mills voucher; knitted socks by local artisan; 2kg chocolate donated by Creswick IGA.

3rd prize: Food-lovers pack valued at $400 including: Local wines; local cheeses; local smallgoods; local restaurant voucher and local beer.

$10 buys one ticket; $30 buys 5 tickets. Click here to buy tickets.

Scottish Fiddle ClubCresFest is all about the collective joy of music and dance.  We want to offer as many opportunities as possible for you to perform, learn, meet new people and be a part of CresFest.  Activitees include: the Bendigo Bank Talent Quest, the Creswick IGA Busking Competition, the Hepburn Shire Showcase, the Creswick Kids Choir and the YouThrive Stage at the Old Post Office. Click here to find out more.


Featuring Emma Donovan & The Putbacks, Kee’ahn, Fools & more.

When:  Friday 01 April 2022  6:30pm - 10:00pm
Where:  Creswick Town Hall, 70 Albert St, Creswick

Kee+39Ahn Emma Donavan + the PutbacksJoin us as we officially open CresFest with a night of pure joy and celebration. Embrace the experience of live music in your life again with a simply stunning line up. The night includes a Dja Dja Wurrung welcome, special words from festival organisers, the first performance of our Creswick Kids Choir led by Ballarat’s own singing dynamo Stella Savy and two very different but equally dazzling female artists. Click here to buy tickets.




When:  Friday 01 April 2022  6:30pm - 10:00pm
Where: Odessa at Leaver's Hotel, 80 Albert Street, Creswick

Magic High JinxEnjoy a Thai banquet at Creswick's cosmopolitan wine bar Odessa at Leaver's, then sit back for a night of magic and mayhem with Anthony De Masi and The Royal High Jinx. Yes, it’s almost Berlin.

The set opens with The Royal High Jinx Trio and their hilarious blend of originality, virtuosity and theatricality. Songs and tunes inspired by European traditions, peppered with Gypsy Jazz, Latin, Balkan and Swing grooves: Sarah (Violin), Silas (Piano, Drums) and Jen (Guitars) bring their favourite continental classics and instrumental music into the modern age.

They'll be followed by brilliant Melbourne magician Anthony De Masi, whose previous engagements read like an impressive dinner party list: Tim Burton, Al Gore, Tony Blair, David Beckham, Gene Simmons and several Australian prime ministers.

Leaver's is simply THE place to be seen in Creswick, and over the weekend of CresFest Leaver's will be hosting three special events: "Dinner and Show: Pure Magic"; "Dinner and Show: West Africa"; “Bluegrass Breakfast with Pete Denahy”. Book early to avoid disappointment. Click here to buy tickets.

When:  Saturday 02 April 2022  10:00am - 12:00pm
Where:  Creswick Town Hall, 70 Albert St, Creswick

Parvyn Josh Aime BruleeA concert dedicated to that most unique of partnerships: musical duos! Featuring Parvyn and Josh, Amie Brûlée and Geoff McArthur, Evan and Mischa, and Mickey and Michelle. Click here to buy tickets.





When:  Saturday 02 April 2022   12:30pm - 2:30pm
Where:  Creswick Town Hall, 70 Albert St, Creswick

We're in the country, and country music is part of us. So we present you three stellar acts from the old-time, bluegrass and country traditions.

Freya Josephine HollickFreya Josephine Hollick: After releasing her second full-length album in August of 2018, Australian singer-songwriter, Freya Josephine Hollick was labelled one of five artists leading the new country renaissance by Double J. Click here to buy tickets.




Pete DenahyBluegrass musician and comedian Pete Denahy is a man who loves his work. When Pete talks about his own show, he says, "It’s not rocket science; I’m not the best singer, fiddle player or guitar picker in the world, but as far as I know, no one else is doing my show." Which is true: there isn’t another show like it. Pete takes you on a journey that travels from the gold rush days of the mid-19th century to buying toilet paper at your local supermarket. Click here to buy tickets.



Kate MearKate Mear has been playing violin and viola since she was a child, and as well as classical she has Irish, Old Time and Bluegrass fiddle chops to burn. For the last fifteen years Kat has been playing fiddle in different Sydney and Melbourne bands, as well as recording on violin and viola. Playing with Cash Savage and the Last Drinks, Kat has toured Europe six times. Kat will be joined by Maggie Rigby, one half of the sensational contemporary folk duo The Maes. With an ear for a tune and an eye for a lyric, Maggie is a sought-after player in many genres. Teaming up with Kat has been one of the silver linings of the Covid catastrophe. Click here to buy tickets.


When:  Saturday 02 April 2022  3:00pm - 5:00pm
Where:  Creswick Town Hall, 70 Albert St, Creswick

There’s music, there’s folk music, and then there’s the Celts. In their home countries of Ireland and Scotland each of these musicians is highly regarded as a tradition bearer or a tradition developer.

enda kennyHost Enda Kenny is an Irish-born songwriter who has made his home in Melbourne since the late 1980s. Colum Sands describes Enda as "the finest Irish songwriter living overseas". Enda is a born entertainer, witty and engaging and is accompanied by Greg Hunt for a show full of humour. "On small stages to intimate audiences or large stages to festival audiences he always holds the crowd in the palm of his hand," according to Eleanor McEvoy. Click here to buy tickets.



Kathryn Clements Kathryn Clements is one of Australia’s finest exponents of traditional Irish song. She has toured Ireland extensively and her latest concert: 'Songs of Ireland: A Mary Black Tribute' is an intimate weaving of Irish music, song and story.  Kathryn is also an accomplished songwriter as featured in her latest album 'Songs of Love and Freedom' which highlights Irish favourites including ‘Song for Ireland' and 'No Frontiers'. According to Phillip Adams (Radio National) Kathryn has "the voice of an angel".  Kathryn is a past recipient of the Lis Johnson Memorial Award for Vocal Excellence at the National Folk Festival. Click here to buy tickets.



Fiona Ross and Shane OMaraFiona Ross & Shane O’Mara. Tradition bearer Fiona Ross has secured her reputation as a highly gifted interpreter of Scots song. Shortlisted for Scots Singer of the Year in Scotland’s prestigious Trad Music Awards, she continues to fly the flag for Scots song here in Australia. Fiona’s honest, earthy singing style and extensive repertoire showcase the richness of the tradition. ARIA Award winning guitarist Shane O'Mara has collaborated with a host of luminaries including Paul Kelly and Chris Wilson. As a duo, these two highly accomplished artists present a captivating Scottish set that is both steeped in tradition and imbued with contemporary flair. Their album, Sunwise Turn, won Music Victoria’s Best Folk Album award. Click here to buy tickets.

When: Saturday 02 April 2022  5:00pm - 7:30pm
Where: Creswick Primary School Hall, Napier St, Creswick

BushwahzeeThere was a time (it’s true, folks) when bush dancing was all the rave. I mean, all the rage. You couldn’t walk out your front door without stumbling over a lagerphone or hearing people bleating about sheep. And that time – we call it the second folk revival – was the 70s.

Bands from The Cobbers to The Bushwackers, from The Flying Piemen to Mulga Bill’s Bicycle Band, from Paradiddle to Captain Moonlight were getting on their rocker and singing the old songs of mining and droving and shearing. Bands up and down the country were teaching kids to strip the willow and dash away with the white sergeant.

The creators of CresFest were part of that wave and we want the wave to come again! So we’re presenting Bushwahzee – a band that’s travelled more miles around country Victoria than any other – to teach you the dances and get your cheeks burning and your heart racing. Covid begone, get ready to do-si-do. Book early as this one is sure to sell out!

Bring your own refreshments – seating will be at tables, just like in the olden days. Click here to buy tickets.

When:  Saturday 02 April 2022  6:30pm - 10:00pm
Where:  Creswick Town Hall, 70 Albert St, Creswick

Eric Bogle Fiddle Club
The Saturday gala is a must-see CresFest Special Event guaranteed to move you. Featuring Melbourne Scottish Fiddlers, Eric Bogle and The Maes, don't be surprised to find yourself dancing and singing! Click here to buy tickets.The Maes

When: Saturday 02 April 2022  6:30pm - 10:00pm
Where: Odessa at Leaver's Hotel, 80 Albert Street, Creswick

JaliThis is a rare opportunity to see kora player Jali Buba Kuyateh up close in the intimate surrounds of Odessa at Leaver's. Chef Sally Harvey will provide a middle eastern banquet of a dazzling array of flavours, colours and scent. If you're craving a culinary journey without leaving town: look no further.

Jali Buba Kuyateh comes from a famous musical family in West Africa and has been singing, dancing and composing from a very early age. He began playing the kora at 5 years of age and composed three tracks by the age of 10. Now a Malmsbury local, Jali Buba has performed at some of Australia's biggest music festivals, from WOMADelaide, to the Woodford and Port Fairy Folk Festivals. Click here to buy tickets.



When:  Saturday 02 April 2022  8:30pm - 10:00pm
Where:  Creswick Neighbourhood Centre, 19-21 Victoria Street, Creswick,

Kee+39AhnAn evening of bright young talent. [The second act is still to be announced: watch this space!]

With a name coming from the Wik people, meaning to dance, to sing, to play, Kee’ahn aims to honour her name and Ancestors through her soulful music that weaves lush melodies and words reminiscent of heartbreak and healing. Kee’ahn released her debut single ‘Better Things’ in May 2020 and was awarded the Archie Roach Foundation Award at the 2020 National Indigenous Music Awards.

Kee’ahn is a proud Kuku Yalanji, Jirrbal, Zenadh Kes song woman who has recently ventured from her home town in North Queensland, to pursue her dream in the Kulin Nation (Melbourne, Australia). Click here to buy tickets.


When:  Saturday 02 April 2022  10:00pm - 12:00am
Where: The American Hotel - Outback, 90 Albert St, Creswick

FoolsStay up late with FOOLS: a 13-piece ‘grand scene’ of Americana and soul influenced rock music, featuring some of Melbourne’s hardest working and best loved session musos. Head out the back of The American Hotel to dance the night away with a fantastic band on the last night of daylight saving. Celebrate renewal and the coming together of talented people to do what they most love: play some damn fine music!

FOOLS are one of Australia’s most audacious proponents of the rock and roll genre – healthily under the influence of soul, blues and Americana, and brimming with originality and rareness. “Luke O’Connor’s voice and storytelling stands in the centre of a musical hurricane, with the energy of dual drums, guitars, and rare gems of songs. FOOLS perform live with command of both wildness and intimacy, and always an agreement with their audience to put on a damn good show.” (Byron Bay Bluesfest). Click here to buy tickets.

When:  Sunday 03 April 2022  8:00am - 10:00am
Where:  Odessa at Leaver's Hotel, 80 Albert Street, Creswick

Pete Denahy 2Hosted by the wonderful Chantel and team at Leavers, you’ll enjoy breakfast in Creswick’s most eclectic, cosmopolitan and cosy bar, while Pete sings his modern classics in company with a raft of special guests.

The man from Yackandandah is fast becoming a national legend. Pete sings and plays guitar, mandolin and fiddle. His song 'Sort of Dunno Nothin' is a YouTube hit and in the ARIA Top 100. His album 'Picture In A Frame' made the top 30 of the ARIA Country Albums chart.

When Pete Denahy talks about his own show, he says, “It’s not rocket science; I’m not the best singer, fiddle player or guitar picker in the world, but as far as I know, no one else is doing my show.” Which is true; there isn’t another show like it. He takes you on a journey that travels from the gold rush days of the mid-19th century to buying toilet paper at your local supermarket. It’s perhaps not a show formula many managers would suggest their acts follow, but it seems to work for Pete. Pete has won several Country Music Awards including Bush Ballad of the Year 2011, Instrumental of the Year 2013, 2014, 2016, Bluegrass recording of the Year 2016. Click here to buy tickets.

When:  Sunday 03 April 2022  10:00am - 11:30am
Where:  Creswick Town Hall, 70 Albert St, Creswick

A fascinating round robin presentation with a selection of Victoria’s most innovative and versatile exponents of the harp (including the kora, known as the harp of Africa). This is your only chance (outside of an orchestra) to hear an incredible 140 strings ringing together.

ANDY RIGBY Jali 2Andy Rigby started playing Celtic music in 1981 before discovering the harp styles of Paraguay and Ecuador a few years later. Since 1990 Andy has been a full-time musician and instrument maker specialising in medieval Gaelic brass-strung harps, Spanish Baroque chromatic harps and other Celtic and Latin harps. Click here to buy tickets.

Jali Buba Kuyateh was born in Casamance, the southern region of Senegal, and grew up living between The Gambia and Senegal. Jali Buba has played kora since the age of five. He had composed three tracks by the age of 10. Jali comes from the famous Kuyateh family of Medina Wandifa. All his brothers and sister play kora, sing and dance. Now based in Malmsbury, Jali Buba has captivated audiences across Australia. Click here to buy tickets.

Classically trained, Mary Doumany is fluent across multiple genres including jazz, contemporary, folk and experimental and is known also for creating ground-breaking works for harp and other instruments/combinations. Mary is featured on major motion picture soundtracks, including 'Shine' and 'The Truman Show' both as singer and harpist. She has played with the Queensland, Sydney and Melbourne Symphony Orchestras. Click here to buy tickets.


When:  Sunday 03 April 2022  12:30pm - 1:50pm
Where:  Creswick Town Hall, 70 Albert St, Creswick

Sweet MonasSinging is where it all starts. We sing before we can talk or (sometimes walk!). And singing is how we choose to close out our beautiful festival at our main venue: the Creswick Town Hall. You'll feel a lump in your throat as voices rise in song: that ultimate gesture of optimism. Our remarkable choir leader Stella Savy (Ballarat) will lead a bevy of dedicated choristers in music from all over, including one commissioned original song by local songwriter Neil Adam. Be there!

This event will be followed by our fabulous festival finale – the Brass and Bollywood Extravaganza – where voices will be swelled by the sound of trumpets, trombones, saxophones and more, all building to an amazing culmination of dancing, swirling Bollywood routines. Sing your heart out and then join us for a dance! Click here to buy tickets.