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Australian Musician’s Greg Phillips headed down to Templestowe College last week to witness the state final of ROCKFEST 2017 and was mighty impressed with the level of talent. Here’s the report.

RockFest is the brainchild of Luc Travers, Education Manager at Cranbourne Music. It’s a competition run through Victorian schools with a focus on contemporary music, whereby bands compete through heats for a place in the state final with some great awards and prizes on offer. Through Luc’s hard work and Cranbourne Music’s encouragement and support, Rockfest has been growing steadily for many years to the point where they now have a firm plan to take it nationally in the not too distant future.

One of the attractions for the bands is the incredible production that awaits them if they make it through to the final stage, as well as some wonderful prizes made possible by supporters such as Fender and D’Addario. As I found out at this years final at Templestowe College, the production was amazing … perfect sound and a light show any band would be envious of. The other obvious element was the tightness of the bands, clearly they have all been putting in many hours of rehearsal time and it’s paying off. The original songs were of a high standard as was the stage presence from the performers. It was so refreshing to see real instruments played on many self-penned songs too. The winning band in the senior section, Disgruntled Architect featured fiddle, piano accordion and jazz guitar amongst the regular rock instrumentation. It’s the kind of occasion which gives you much hope for the future of music in this country.

The first band I caught at Rockfest was Resonate, a gospel, RnB style band from Narre Warren, a 9-piece group with a big sound, delivering a positive message. Their multi-skilled keyboard player won the best vocalist award. The Arrival is a spirited pop, rock band which generated an epic sound, aided by some fine licks from the female lead guitarist.  Achilles of Solimo is a quality trio from Wangaratta High School. With no dedicated drummer, the drum duties were shared between the two talented guitarists. Announcing that they’d be playing an instrumental, parts of the audience erupted into cheers when they launched into the classic Black Sabbath tune Fairies Wear BootsDynasty of Melody was fronted by two vibrant female vocalists who kicked off with Michael Jackson’s Black and White before easing into a heartfelt original ballad. Disgruntled Architect, the eventual winners in the senior category played a blend of  folk, rock and gypsy rhythms. They’re part Mumford and Sons, part Gogol Bordello and if they stick to their guns, have a bright future in front of them.

It was great to see the local music industry getting behind Rockfest too. D’Addario Australia donated a gorgeous DW drum kit and Fender donated a bass guitar as part of the prize pool. Also up for grabs was a day’s recording at Templestowe College’s own recording studio.

Check out our video highlights package below and the chat we had with Rockfest founder Luc Travers. A selection of photos follows as well.

Here’s a complete list of winners for Rockfest 2018:

Best Keys – In the works – Luke Holder- Templestowe College

Best Vocals – In the works – Holly Callec – Templestowe College

Best Guitar – R.A.G.E – Ruby Brand – Trafalgar High

Best Bass – R.A.G.E – Georgia Wyntjes – Trafalgar High

Best Drummer – Young and Gifted – Jack Smith – Narre Warren Sth P-12

Best Band – Young and Gifted – Narre Warren South P-12

Best Keys – The Arrival – Seth Benson – Trafalgar High

Best Vocals – Keys player in Resonate- Hoseah Parstch  – Narre Warren Sth P-12

Best Guitar – Achillies of Solimo – Sam O’Shannessy – Wangaratta High

Best Bass – Achilies of Solimo – Laurence Adorni-Dickson – Wangaratta High

Best Drummer – Disgruntled Architect – Donovan Quilty – Templestowe College

Best Band – Disgruntled Architect – Templestowe College

Best Original Song
Lately – Paperclip  Writers – Asha Bright and Indigo  Walker-sterling



The Arrival
The Arrival
The Arrival
The Arrival
Dynasty of Melody




Achilles of Solimo


Achilles of Solimo


Disgruntled Architect
Disgruntled Architect




Cranbourne Music’s Michael Coleman
Rockfest Judges

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