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New festival is heading to Flinders in February curated by celebrity milliner Melissa Jackson

Words by Richard Cornish
Images supplied

This February, for three days and nights, the seaside town of Flinders will be home to some of the nation’s most talented artists and performers in a brand-new festival curated by celebrity milliner Melissa Jackson.

From February 17 – 19, 30 different performances, events, walks, talks and workshops will be taking place around town in different venues from the iconic Flinders General Store, historic St John’s Anglican Church, Flinders Ocean Beach and the Flinders Hotel.

Some of the highlights include appearances by Melbourne Opera and Soul Circus plus a new work called DIRT by internationally renowned cabaret performer, pianist, and composer John Thorn. This is a clever and witty collection of songs exploring the existential crises we all face in these first decades of the 21st century. With titles such as Why Are We Here? And Inconvenient Fruit this is a good chance to see this talented man in action.

Also performing is Sunny Reyne, daughter of musician and presenter David Reyne, with her smooth summery songs. She will be singing at the Flinders Bowls Club as will young artist Holly Hebe, known for her beautifully introspective and thoughtful songs. This is also the venue for a screening of a documentary made about the Flinders General Store called House of Commons. Made by local filmmaker Tasma Pittock it tells the story of local storekeepers Frank and Olive Commons who ran the store in the mid-20th century, a time when the fire brigade siren was inside the back door and people made their doctors’ appointments at the counter.

Foodies will not be disappointed as ABC breakfast TV star Alice Zaslavsky will be appearing at a literary lunch at the Flinders Hotel. Flinders Pier’s famous resident weedy sea dragons will also be celebrated with the creation of giant weedy sea dragon puppets by master puppeteer Ian Cumming.

With beach foraging, choirs, kite-making workshops and even former Sale of the Century host and Flinders local Tony Barber hosting a British pub singalong this is a beautiful celebration of place and people. Artistic director Melissa Jackson, a person with strong ties to the area, says “The festival will celebrate the beauty of the Mornington Peninsula’s natural environment and create economic benefits and opportunities for … local artists living on and frequenting the Mornington Peninsula. This event is truly diverse, and people of all ages will be excited by the mixed music and creative arts program on offer. There will be something for everyone.“


What: Brand new festival in beautiful Westernport village
Where: Various locations around Flinders
When: Fri 17 – Sun 19 February 2023
Who: The Mornington Peninsula’s best artists plus some talented out-of-towners
Why: Stunning landscape, some free events, great performers, summer on the Peninsula!
More Info: Flinders Fringe Festival

We wish to acknowledge the Bunurong people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.
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