Bendigo musician's refugee fundraiser nets more than $2500 in donations.

FOR A GOOD CAUSE: Steph Bitter organised the Rise in harmonies fundraiser. The event raised $2600 for refugees.
FOR A GOOD CAUSE: Steph Bitter organised the Rise in harmonies fundraiser. The event raised $2600 for refugees.

A dozen music acts played at the Golden Vine on Sunday to raise money for refugees.

The Rise in Harmonies Fundraiser was organised by singer-songwriter Steph Bitter as a way to support of the Act for Peace Ration Challenge.

“I saw a lot of ads popping up on social media for the Ration Challenge and some of my friends had done it. Being a musician, I thought it would be a good idea to do a gig,” Bitter said.

The Ration Challenge sees people around Australia sponsored to eat like a refugee during Refugee Week (June 17 to 24).

Money raised provides food, medicine and education for Syrian families in refugee camps in Jordan and supports other disaster and conflict-affected communities around the world.

Hoping to raise $1000 to donate to the refugee cause, Rise in Harmonies reached $2600 by the end of the night.

“It was incredible. People kept piling in and by the end of the night the Vine was packed,” Bitter said.

“One very generous person donated $1000 and we held a silent auction with local businesses donating eight items.

“All the bands volunteered their time with singer-songwriters playing outside in the afternoon and funk band Groove Juice getting the crowd dancing.

With the success of Rise in Harmonies, Bitter is considering holding similar fundraising gig next year.

“In my mind it was going to be a once off but if it was successful, I’m willing to do it every year. It depends on how it goes,” she said.

Bitter has been playing guitar since she was 14 and starting gigging at age 15.

“I have been playing for five or six years,” she said.

“(Recently,) I was approached by InAct Oz, which teaches people the management and administrative side of the music industry.

“He asked if I wanted to learn and I said ‘absolutely’.

“It’s about looking at things from the venue’s perspective and I have been taught so much, I thought ‘I’ve got these skills’, I should put them to use.

“I've done a bit work putting gigs together with InAct Oz but none as successful as this. It was a different approach and people took to it.”