While the Festival of Sails’ regular Waterfront Festival won’t be seen in 2022, event organizers have put together a new entertainment program to support the arts this year.
The festival has announced that it will host a new CBD initiative, Gigs by Festival of Sails, this year when the Royal Geelong Yacht Club’s annual sailing event returns from Saturday January 22 through Wednesday January 26.
Festival of Sails President Roger Bennett said that while the festival’s sailing program would return to its pre-pandemic style after being canceled last year, ongoing COVID-19 restrictions mean organizers won’t couldn’t organize the traditional Waterfront Festival, which usually drew thousands of people to the Waterfront.
“It was a tough decision to make, but the reality was we had no choice,” Bennett said.
“However, for 2022, we have developed a really exciting alternative entertainment program that we hope residents and visitors to Geelong embrace, which is our“ Gigs by Festival of Sails ”program bringing live music and local talent to local people. businesses and local locations across the CBD.
“COVID-19 has forced us to innovate, and we believe this revised program will really help revive our live music, hospitality and events industry, giving a much needed boost to businesses and artists in Geelong. .
“Of course, we look forward to returning to our traditional Waterfront Festival, hopefully for the following year in January 2023.”
Gigs by Festival of Sails will see more than 40 bands, including The Chantoozies, The Bad Loves, Michael Stangel and Yacht Rock Review, perform at nine CBD venues, including the Regatta Village at the Royal Geelong Yacht Club, Piano Bar, Edge, Lambys and Sailors’ Rest, during the five-day festival.
Bennett said revised plans were made to ensure the festival continues to support businesses in Geelong that have been tough throughout the pandemic.
“We are committed to doing all we can to support the businesses and local sites in Geelong which have experienced difficult times during the pandemic,” Bennett said.
“Our ‘Gigs by FoS’ program will generate potential sponsorship in these places where up to 5,400 customers, locals and visitors will enjoy free entertainment, but will undoubtedly invest in food and drink while they party, which will generate work and income for the business owners and their local staff.
“We think this is a great initiative which will hopefully be a popular alternative to the traditional waterfront festival that we were forced to park for 2022.”
Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher welcomed the change and said the drive to encourage more people to visit CBD sites and support local businesses is positive.
“We are delighted to see the festival organizers continue to provide an entertainment program that our local community and visitors can enjoy and support local businesses at the same time is a great initiative,” she said.
Geelong Connected Communities President Roger Grant added that the new format will also support local artists who have been unable to take the stage for much of the past 18 months.
“We’re especially excited to help local bands and artists come back and do what they do best, especially after the past two difficult years our local entertainment industry has gone through,” he said. declared.