moun­tains and mu­sic

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - Front Page - by KYLIE WIL­SON

A MU­SIC lov­ing hus­band and wife team are among a fresh batch of community res­i­dents who are busy re­vamp­ing the long run­ning Mt Beauty Mu­sic Fes­ti­val.

While last year the fes­ti­val was look­ing like it may fold, a fresh team of lo­cal res­i­dents have poured their ef­forts into re­vamp­ing the event, and are ex­cited about both their community and the changes ahead.

Among the new com­mit­tee are Jos and Dan Cec­ca­nti, with Jos tak­ing the reins as com­mit­tee pres­i­dent.

Jos said she ini­tially got in­volved in the fes­ti­val as the sta­tion man­ager at Alpine Ra­dio.

“Work­ing in ra­dio, I have found a real pas­sion for live mu­sic, with studio per­for­mances and live gigs,” she said.

“I love the re­al­ness, the en­gage­ment with the au­di­ence, and the whole ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Cu­ri­ous about the fes­ti­val, Jos and Dan at­tended a fes­ti­val AGM, and things just grew from there.

When the fes­ti­val looked to be head­ing into re­cess – or fold­ing al­to­gether - the cou­ple sprang into ac­tion.

“I man­aged to get a group of peo­ple to­gether to take it over, a whole fresh new com­mit­tee,” Jos said.

“We are striv­ing to bring the community some­thing spe­cial and in­tro­duc­ing some new el­e­ments to the fes­ti­val, based on our fam­ily back­ground and the im­por­tance of en­ter­tain­ing the whole fam­ily to en­joy the fes­ti­val.

“We have also tried to sim­plify the fes­ti­val and fo­cus on bring­ing tourism to the town.

“It has been a lot of work as we have started from scratch, I have spent too many hours to men­tion, but I have loved ev­ery minute of it.

“We are hop­ing pre­vi­ous fes­ti­val go­ers, the lo­cals and vis­i­tors sup­port our fes­ti­val as these things are es­sen­tial in small com­mu­ni­ties.”

Jos said the fes­ti­val re­vamp has even spread to its logo – a Bo­gong Moth, sig­ni­fy­ing rebirth and re­newal.

While the fes­ti­val is smaller this year, fea­tur­ing mu­si­cal favourites The North­ern Folk, Charm of Finches and The Hot Springs, the com­mit­tee is build­ing to a full scale fes­ti­val in 2019.

“We have cho­sen three bands that re­flect the image of the direc­tion of the fes­ti­val, bring­ing vi­brance and growth,” Jos said.

“These bands are all in the fes­ti­val cir­cuit and have a good strong fol­low­ing and rep­u­ta­tion for qual­ity en­ter­tain­ment.”

Dan added that the fes­ti­val is also col­lab­o­rat­ing with Alpine Shire for a FReeZA event ear­lier in the day.

“We are hop­ing that this will join the two for fu­ture fes­ti­vals,” he said, adding that he also wants to help strengthen the con­nec­tion be­tween the Bright and Mt Beauty com­mu­ni­ties,” he said.

As a mother, and a lo­cal res­i­dent, Jos said she wanted to work to­wards some­thing to ben­e­fit the lo­cal community.

“I moved here 11 years ago, from Syd­ney, but I grew up in the val­ley.

“I have al­ways had a con­nec­tion with the val­ley, I love the peo­ple, the space and we have such an amaz­ing community, very community fo­cused.”

Both Jos and Dan have at­tended the fes­ti­val at some point or an­other over the years, but Dan - a wine­maker – said one of his key mem­o­ries of the fes­ti­val was when his fam­ily’s win­ery made their first re­lease of cel­lar door wines.

“It was a good cul­tural at­mos­phere for the town,” he said.

“I was im­pressed with the com­mit­tee at the time with the level of qual­ity acts, and gen­eral or­gan­i­sa­tion of the fes­ti­val.” Dan said he loved liv­ing in the area. “It’s a beau­ti­ful re­gion, I have made many busi­ness con­tacts and friends in the val­ley,” he said.

Dan said dur­ing the fes­ti­val or­gan­i­sa­tion process, he helped in li­ais­ing with the groups in­volved with the event and spread the word to the community.

He said he is look­ing for­ward to the live per­for­mances.

“I re­ally en­joy live per­for­mances, be­ing up front and per­sonal, and see­ing how ded­i­cated the per­form­ers are,” he said.

Mt Beauty Mu­sic Fes­ti­val is tak­ing place this year on April 21, and there are still op­por­tu­ni­ties for vol­un­teers to get in­volved with the fes­ti­val.

In­for­ma­tion for vol­un­teers and prospec­tive au­di­ences mem­bers alike is avail­able on­sicfes­ti­, or on the fes­ti­val’s Face­book page.

Tick­ets are avail­able via try­book­ by fol­low­ing the links on the fes­ti­val page.

PHOTO: Alex Craig

FRESH START: Dan and Jos Cec­ca­nti, pic­tured here with Jos’s daugh­ter Poppy Scherf, are among the new team that has taken over the reins of the Mt Beauty Mu­sic Fes­ti­val.

PHOTO: David Har­ris/Mu­sic World Me­dia

ON SONG: The North­ern Folk are among the bands per­form­ing at the Mount Beauty Mu­sic Fes­ti­val this year.

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