By Gabriella Payne
The on-again off-again Covid lockdowns have made life incredibly difficult for those in the music industry, but a group of local musicians ignited the flame of live performance once again over the weekend, as they took to the virtual stage.
The 2021 ‘Ignite Uncancelled’ youth festival may have looked a little different to what was originally planned, but in true performance style, organisers adapted the event to ensure that the show could go on despite the adversities they faced.
Four local solo artists and two five-piece bands were featured in this year’s online festival, showcasing some of the best youth talent in the local music scene.
The performances, which were launched online on Saturday 31 July, were pre-recorded as a “live music series” in case of another snap lockdown, and remain up and available for audience members to enjoy from the comfort of their own homes.
One of the organisers of the event, Phil Byers, said that after the turbulent year those in the music industry had faced, it was great to feature some of the incredible young talents in our own backyard.
“Ignite Youth projects like ‘Uncancelled 2021’ are all about creating opportunities to learn, to connect and to showcase emerging talent both on and off the stage,” Mr Byers said.
“We recently assembled a team of local young artists and team of creatives to develop a fantastic collaboration and produce a dynamic live-music series.”
Six individual performances are featured in the series, including solo artists Sasha Rechichi, Lucienne Wynne, Luro and James Franklin, as well as two five-piece bands, The Lost Anchors and Strawbz.
Mr Byers said that the performances had been well received and it was great to see a wide range of people tuning in to each set.
“Individual artists videos were launched on Saturday July 31 with many people tuning in to enjoy the performances online and support each act who took to the stage showcasing their musical talents,” he said.
“Youth-led projects like this are exciting to see come together, from designing the technical requirements and working with selected musicians to create an important opportunity to celebrate the creative journey.”
Mr Byers said that this event had been made possible thanks to the efforts of many local organisations and people, and a special shout out needed to go to Charlee Tjepkema, for her “superstar efforts” in MC-ing, producing and pulling the whole event together.
He also thanked Blaise Cosme from OBG Productions, a young musician who founded the Ignite initiative and the Cardinia Shire Council for all their support.
Each young performer’s set is available online and can be viewed via Ignite’s Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages.
Head to www.ignitefestival.com.au for the links or more information.