First Annual Toodyay Music Fest

Saturday March 25, 2017 marked the date of the first annual Toodyay Music Fest.

John and Barb at the Music Fest

With stages in Duidgee and Stirling Parks for bands and various other performers, St Stephens Church opened its

doors for those who prefer to be entertained by classical and easy listening music. The streets of Toodyay was lined with buskers to entertain those that are dining in our cafes and for shoppers alike.

I had no idea what to expect, but I was excited to go.

So excited in fact, I had a big fall almost as soon as we got there. I spent the day injured, but I had a great time.

It ended up being almost perfect weather, perhaps a bit warm for me in the middle of the day, but not a big deal, really.

I love the town of Toodyay, and I love being out in the country. So the day started with a nice drive. We arrived early which gave us time to have a walk through the town.

Town of Toodyay

The name Toodyay is believed to be derived from an Aboriginal word ‘duidgee’ which means ‘place of plenty’, referring to the richness and fertility of the area and the reliability of the Avon River. I love walking through the town and seeing the hills in the not too far distance.

Bushells Tea

Walking around we could see the faded advertising on several walls. This one, Bushells tea, a part of Australian life since 1883,

Toodyay architecture

Founded in 1836 and declared an historic town by the National Trust in 1980, the town today still displays fine examples of 19th century history, with architecture reflecting the early convict era. Historic buildings include the Old Courthouse (Shire Administration Centre), the Mechanics’ Institute (Toodyay Library), Connors Mill and the Old Gaol.

old gas station

When we come across old gas stations (Now an auto center) like this, I often wish Paul from Severn Gas Pumps could see it.

fire station

Toodyay Fire Station was designed by architect Ken Duncan, a member of the Volunteer Fire Brigade, and was built in 1939. It is notable for its Art Deco facade. It is one of two single bay Stripped Classical fire stations built during the Western Australian Fire Brigades Board’s 1930s building campaign. It is rendered in part and bricked to lower level, all painted

toodyay memorial hall

The Toodyay Memorial Hall is a heritage-listed building on Stirling Terrace in Toodyay, Western Australia. It was originally built in 1899 as the Newcastle Municipal Chambers.

Connors Mill

Connor’s Mill is a steam driven flour mill and is still operational. The mill was built in 1870 by local builder George Hassel for Dan Connor, a store owner. It was the third built in the Toodyay district. The mill originally had a shingle roof, no turret and a slide from the first floor doorway to wagon height. This was used to slide bags of flour onto the wagons waiting below.

St Stephen's Anglican Church

So we had been to Toodyay a few times before, and I can’t believe I never noticed this charming church behind a tree. St Stephen’s Anglican Church. A flooded gum (Eucalyptus rudis), said to be over 400 years old, towers over the church.

seeing the church on the inside.

We went inside. I was excited to see an Anglican church on the inside. I looked at everything, the windows, the pews, the cross and seats in the front.

Stained glass window

The architectural style of the church could be described as restrained Gothic with its pointed arched window and door surrounds. There are tall lancet windows to the north and south, with buttresses dividing the north and south façades into evenly spaced bays. Loved the light coming in through the window.

Vicar of Dibley

I climbed the stairs and stood high in the front. I had my 5 minutes of pretending to be the Vicar of Dibley.

guitar made from corrugated iron.

And now we had our morning tour of the town, we settled in the park to listen to the group, Blues Confusion. For one song, the guitarist picked up a guitar he had made from corrugated iron. It had an interesting sound.

Blue Hornet

Next we listened to Blue Hornet. They had a wide range of songs. You know you’re going to hear just about anything from a group who played Pink Floyd with a guy wearing a Shania Twain T-shirt.

Now I am a Pink Floyd fan, but I was never fond of their song, The Wall. Blue Hornet however, sure did their own version that got my attention. So well done.

Blue Hornet bass guitar player

It sure was a friendly Music festival as this fellow from Blue Hornet later joined the next group, Another Fine Mess.

Another Fine Mess

I really liked Blue Hornet and their wide range, but the next music group was just my favorite for the day, Another Fine Mess.

Another Fine Mess

One of the reasons I liked them so much was not only did they have a song for about every decade, they had a wide range of instruments. The lady to the right played the guitar, the flute, and the sax, as you can see to her left.

Another Fine Mess

And this member played guitar, trumpet and trombone.

Main vocalist

Also the main vocalist was fun to watch, and it looks like she is having fun singing.

little boys watching Another Fine Mess

Another Fine mess had fans from all ages.

Australian Beatles

The evening finished with two tribute bands. We didn’t stay for the last one, we had a long ride home, But we did of course, stay for the Australian Beatles.

Australian beatles

They were enjoyable, who doesn’t like Beatles songs? Here they are after a costume change.

The Australian beatles

John and I both noticed that the one that was supposed to be George, at times, eerily really did look like him.

Overall, I had the best day (besides the fall), I suppose the music lover in me enjoys all talents.

We stayed for as long as we could, missing the Rolling Stones Tribute band, Jumping Jack Flash.

On the way home, we stop to just look at stars. Stars far from the city are magical, and I am almost certain, touchable. So beautiful.

Anyway, I like to take photos but I am  terrible at video. I have learned I shouldn’t record anything without a tripod. A lesson learned.

For now, though, here is a sample of bands that we got to listen to, I can’t wait for next year! :


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