Airey’s Inlet Open Mic Music Festival, Andrew.

One of Victoria’s most unique music events, the Aireys Inlet Open Mic Music Festival, is on this weekend (13-15 March). Featuring 150 acts, including 50 bands, over three days on nine different stages, the event completely takes over the coastal town of Aireys Inlet.

The program features everything from rock bands to choirs, youth acts and solo artists like myself.

What makes the festival unique? Well, for starters, it’s free to attend – it has a ‘Pay What You think it’s Worth’ policy so you make a donation if you’ve had fun.

Secondly, it features talented performers you may well not have seen before. The festival, now in its 14th year, focuses on talented newcomers, enthusiastic veterans and serious but not-yet-famous acts. The next wave, if you will.

As a serious but amateur singer and songwriter (I’ve had one EP released but I’m not quitting the day job anytime soon)), I have very few opportunities to play my original songs to a sizeable audience. I’ve played in a lot of short open mic nights around Melbourne, and gave a couple of porch concerts during lockdown, so I’m thrilled to have the chance to play a full set, and to discover more music and musicians myself too.

The festival closes with a mystery guest act on Sunday afternoon – normally a big name act. Andrew Wilkins