Festive cheer on the bay

Andy Pobjoy performs at an impromptu Geelong Carousel concert on Monday. (Louisa Jones) 224067_25

By Luke Voogt

An impromptu Geelong Carousel concert brought Christmas cheer to the waterfront on Monday night despite the cancellation of live carols this year.

Piano Bar owner Andy Pobjoy was thrilled to get into festive spirit in the live and live-streamed show.

“We had a little crowd out the back,” he said.

“It was so lovely with the doors open – it formed a bit of a stage – and it was such a beautiful backdrop.

“And there’s always a bit of buzz around Geelong’s floating Christmas tree. It certainly created that Christmas feeling.”

About 60 or 70 people stopped to watch during the two-and-a-half-hour show, according to Andy.

“We didn’t promote it because obviously we didn’t want to draw a crowd,” he said.

“I sort of came up with the idea and contacted Central Geelong Marketing saying, ‘we’re thinking of crashing the waterfront’.

“Helen from Central Geelong Marketing said, ‘why don’t you perform in the carousel instead?’”

Local and international viewers tuned into the show online, which Andy reckoned was Piano Bar’s 160th live stream for the year.

“We took requests over the comments,” he said.

“We had one woman from the US asking, ‘where are you? Hawaii?’”

Andy praised council, and local businesses and performers, for “throwing around ideas” and “making them happen” during COVID-19.

“The city has really tried to embrace this new outdoor way of doing things and thinking outside the box,” he said.

“Everyone is collaborating around town and trying new things, which is what we’ve always dreamed of – although obviously not under these circumstances.”