Geelong Advertiser

The Blues Train to get back on track


THE Bellarine Peninsula’s famous Blues Train is set to return to the tracks 18 months after COVID-19 forced it to close.

The long-running blues and roots music venue will resume in October with The Blues Train Revival Concert Series.

It has been a costly and agonising journey for Blues Train founder and proprietor Hugo T. Armstrong, who has made numerous attempts to restart the unique business.

“I have been overwhelme­d by the support of the community for this product that a group of us started 26 years ago, never envisaging the highs and the lows of the last 13 months,” Mr Armstrong (pictured) said.

“On the night we closed in March 2020, I said to the staff this will be a case of first to leave, last to come back! It now appears that was a selffulfil­ling prophecy.”

In announcing the restart, Mr Armstrong noted there had been moments of “complete despair” and the business had suffered significan­t losses.

But he said there had also been many moments of incredible generosity and support, which had inspired everybody to continue to fight for the Blues Train while it was in enforced hibernatio­n.

“The challenge is not over yet as we have faced significan­t financial losses and with the winding up of JobKeeper, we will need ongoing support to get right through until October when The Blues Train product starts to run again,” Mr Armstrong said.

The Blues Train Revival Concert Series will be supported by Queensclif­f council and the Melbourne Arts Centre. More events dates and line-ups are expected to be announced in coming days, with ticket sales to the general public starting on May 4.

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