Bendigo Blues and Roots Music Festival enjoys good start ahead of big weekend

UPDATE, noon: William Alexander led the performers in Hargreaves Mall today.

He has just finished but is at the Lake View Hotel at 7pm on Saturday and the Bendigo Art Gallery at on Sunday.

Simon and Tammy London are on in Hargreaves Mall now and will be followed by Urban Creates (1pm), Silent Garden (2pm), Sam Newton (3pm) and the Jimmy Davis Duo (4pm).

The Golden Dragon Museum’s Chinese gardens will feature The Hollands at 2pm today followed by Hailey Calvert at 3pm.

Check back then to see our livestream of The Hollands.

UPDATE, 10.50am: Thirty-two venues will host acts on Saturday, with BBRMF secretary Keith MacQueen saying volunteer crews were ready to go.

“We've done most of the venue set-ups already but the volunteers will be going around keeping on track on everything,” he said.

“Our whole crew is about 30 regulars and others stepping in to help out with big events.”

MacQueen said music lovers were spoilt for choice this weekend.

“I’ve been trying to map out acts I want to see. It’s tricky,” he said.

“On Sunday, I’m looking forward to the Heathcote leg of the festival.”

EARLIER: Crowds have already been flocking to Bendigo Blues and Roots Music Festival shows across the city.

This year’s festival officially launched last night with a party at Gold Dust Lounge.

But before that a series of performers entertained fans, shoppers and passers-by in Hargreaves Mall.

BBRMF director Colin Thompson said the opening day went well.

“It was a lovely opening with fantastic acts and people from all over Australia visiting,” he said.

“All the venues went really well including St Paul’s Cathedral which hosted one of their two shows for the weekend.

“Although Thursday is our lightest program, everyone noticed more people out listening to acts than usual.”

St Paul’s hosted Choice Voices Choir, who held a gospel singalong as part of its open rehearsal.

“That show’s served as a warm-up for their performance on Saturday afternoon,” Mr Thompson said.

“We are excited to have that venue and the Chinese Gardens as well.”

The Golden Dragon Museum will host acts in the gardens at 2pm on Friday and Saturday. It is the first time the BBRMF has had acts perform in the Chinese precinct.