Mortlake Dispatch

Rain and hail failed to dampen the enthusiasm of dancers at this year’s Rock the Clock Festival, despite activities being forced indoors.

Retro haircuts were a busy part of activities in The Hive.

The Fender Benders’ guitarist in full swing.

Locals catch up for a chat between showers.

Retro fashion stalls were popular stops in the avenue.

A black Pontiac proved a crowd stopper in the Show and Shine.

Competitors show off their skills in the Rock the Clock Dance Competition.

About 80 cars entered the Show and Shine, which provided a different element to the music festival.

Dancers wore matching outfits for the Rock the Clock Dance Competition.

Young dancers proved they had just as many moves as the older crowd.

Manifold Street took on the feel of a bygone era with vintage cars on display.

Twistto’s were one of just three food vans in town for the festival.

Entrants in the Best Dressed Competition parade for the judges.

An entry in the dance competition’s ‘Triples’ sections.

Punters check out the market stalls between showers of rain.

Couples show their moves in the dance competition.


Rockin’ in the rain

DESPITE rain, hail and chilling winds, Camperdown’s Rock the Clock Festival numbers were up more than 30 per cent on last year, making it “the best yet”.

Festival committee member Simon Buccheri said even though the majority of outside events planned for the avenue had to be relocated indoors at the Theatre Royal, feedback was still “fantastic”.

“We had people here from as far away as Gippsland, Adelaide, New South Wales and even Perth and nobody was disappointed with the festival,” he said.

“It’s a great testament to the quality of local talent we have and of this community to band together and soldier on despite the challenges of the weather.”

Mr Buccheri said one example of community resilience was the need to make a completely new outdoor dance floor at the last minute.

“The one that arrived at about 4pm on the Friday was not entirely smooth, making it a bit of a safety hazard for the dancers,” he said.

“We were there fussing around and members of the community passing by pitched in and helped us build a new one there and then. We had a completely new one built in a couple of hours.

“It was absolutely awesome, and that level of community input and resilience continued through the whole weekend.”

Festival committee member Sara Napier said local sponsorship was a huge highlight from the weekend.

“We had about $50,000 in local sponsorship, including a grant from the Corangamite Shire, which is amazing for a community our size,” she said.

“We were really mindful about getting visitors into our local shops and I think we achieved that.

“The number of food vans was limited to three, so all the town’s eateries and hotels were really busy with people ducking in for a bite.”

Overall, the event is estimated to have generated about $300,000 in outside income for the town.

Ms Napier said the dance competition was a major highlight of the weekend, with the Victorian Rock ‘n’ Roll Dance Association keen to stage another one next year.

“The dance lessons were also strongly supported and the Young Elvis competition was a nice addition too,” she said.

“But overall, I think the fact that most of the musicians were from the local area is something we can be very proud of.

“The festival really is a great way to showcase just how much talent we have locally and to celebrate and share it.”

Mr Buccheri said the intention was to build on this year’s success.

“There was so much wonderful feedback that we’re becoming known on the rock and roll calendar, so that’s a great position to be in,” he said.

“This town lends itself to a vintage and retro festival like this and with the level of community support, we’re sure it will continue to grow.”