Live music, circus theatre, puppet shows, and other roving performers will entertain shopping and dining precincts across Greater Geelong for the remainder of the year.
The City of Greater Geelong has restarted the It’s Our Backyard campaign to enliven eight different precincts with street performers.
Performers will entertain visitors to the Geelong Waterfront, Pakington Street, Lara, Barwon Heads, Ocean Grove, Portarlington, Highton and Belmont, over the next few months.
Deputy mayor Trent Sullivan said the extension of the program’s multi-faceted support measures would be welcomed by the business community.
“We’ve had great feedback from our earlier entertainment initiatives, so it’s great that we can bring this back as our economy re-opens further through spring and summer,” he said.
“Aided by the warmer weather, our open-air dining areas and public spaces will be attractive places for people to socialise and the roving performers will further add to the atmosphere.”
Funding to support the initiative has been provided by the Victorian government’s Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package.
The full program will run until December 31, with performances to have a Christmas element from November 15.
One performer who will be putting on a show for the community is singer-songwriter Rach Brennan.
Ms Brennan said the pandemic had been challenging for the arts and performers were raring to get back on stage.
“The last 12 months has been an emotional rollercoaster for those in the music industry,” she said.
“I feel really lucky to have played my final show with my band Rach Brennan and The Pines in June at the Barwon Club in between the madness of cancelling and rescheduling gigs.
“Other tours I’ve worked on in the second half of 2021 have been rescheduled up to three times, ending with most shows cancelled to avoid further disappointment.
“It’s honestly such a huge blow to our scene.”
She said she was looking forward to performing as part of the campaign.
“I’ve been grateful to be supported by the Geelong council with gigs over pandemic and I’m very much looking forward to performing around the city the next few months,” Ms Brennan said.
“There definitely has been a lot of music written by artists in the last twelve months and I’m really excited to share my new project and songs.”
Greater Geelong arts, live entertainment and hospitality portfolio chairman Eddy Kontelj said the It’s Our Backyard campaign encouraged the Geelong community to think local first when seeking goods and services and to “taste the region”.
“Our local businesses continue to need our support as they will still face capacity restrictions in the coming months,” Cr Kontelj said.
“This program not only aims to bring people back to our shopping and dining precincts, but also provides great employment opportunities for our local creative industry.
“When I first suggested the concept of the arts, live entertainment and hospitality portfolio, the aspiration was to help support, develop and promote local talent and artists, and also to bring live entertainment to the suburbs, this program allows us to do this.
“Live performances have been heavily limited over the past 18 months and this initiative allows our creative talents and audiences to re-connect.”
The full schedule of performances can be found online at itsourbackyard.com.au.