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On Saturday 14 October 2023, the community of Rochester are invited to come together for ROCHELLA – a family-friendly festival of live music, local food and fun at the Rochester Recreation Reserve.

Live music has long been used for recovery, ritual and honouring of significant events and ROCHELLA is a time for the Rochester community to gather and reconnect.

The special event is organised by Rochester Community House and Music Victoria, with support from community, local council, sporting clubs and committees of the region.

Jane Reid, Chair, Rochester Community House Committee of Management said that they were thrilled to have the opportunity to spearhead ROCHELLA in October.

“The Rochester Community House team have an intimate understanding of our community, and are passionate about providing opportunities to bring our community together and fostering our strong spirit. Hosting an event on the scale of ROCHELLA is an incredible opportunity for our town, and we can't wait to see our community come alive with music, laughter, and lasting memories!’ said Jane.

Headlining the event will be award-winning Victorian bands Cash Savage and the Last Drinks and The Black Sorrows as well as musicians from the local community and around the state.

The line-up includes Bones and Jones, a farm-rock band from Geelong handpicked by a Rochester community member; the dance-pop soulful sounds of Empress; Stumbling North, a pub rock favourite from nearby Echuca, family-friendly act The Burnt Sausages, Australian Idol dance-pop artist Anya Alchemy, and the world premiere of a new song written by local students in collaboration with Golden Guitar winner Josh Arnold as part of his Small Town Culture music project.

Seventeen year old Rochester musician Zack Wileman, has been supporting ROCHELLA from it’s inception, and campaigning to bring some of Victoria’s most exciting contemporary acts to Rochester.

“Stoked for ROCHELLA - the lineup is awesome! I’m looking forward to seeing the community come back together and for us to have some good times listening to great music,” said Zack.

Alongside the live music, ROCHELLA will feature fun family activities and local food stalls with local sports clubs running the bars which remain alcohol free until after lunch.
Tickets to ROCHELLA are on sale from Friday 25 August and are $10 for residents of postcode 3561 and are $30 for visitors. Kids under 12 are free with a grown up. Local tickets can be purchased from the Rochester Newsagency from Friday and visitors can buy their tickets from Proceeds from ticket sales go to the Rochester Community Access Flood Relief Fund.

Simone Schinkel, CEO of Music Victoria said: “Recovery can take a long time. To sustain, communities like Rochester need days like this to acknowledge how far they’ve come and to let live music, good food and community lift spirts up.”

ROCHELLA is a part of Music Victoria’s Live Music for Flood Recovery program, supported by Creative Victoria, where small towns and villages in regional and rural Victoria are hosting more than 40 live music events throughout 2023. The program has seen small gigs in live music venues featuring local musicians, to large-scale festivals and community events at local venues supporting impacted Victorian communities to revive, recover and gather in the 12 months of clean up and rebuilding since floods impacted the region in 2022.