Sweet music returns to Geelong streets

May 13, 2021 BY

A FREE music festival aimed at celebrating female musicians will make a welcome return to the streets of Central Geelong later this month.

Sweetfest is presented by local not-for-profit organisation, Sweethearts Foundation, and will take place in Little Malop Street on May 30 between 11am and 6pm.

The annual festival is back after a break due to the pandemic and will feature four stages of live music showcasing top local and national female talent, as well as industry workshops and Q&A panels.

Headline act for the day will be Australian alternative rock singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Alex Lahey who has performed at the likes of Splendour in the Grass and Groovin’ the Moo.

Other acts on the day include Hayley Mary, Emma Donovan, The Putbacks, Sweethearts, Ebony and the Dilemmas, Fulton Street, Cry Baby, Sirens, Rach Brennan, Libby Steel, Ella Sweeney, Younghearts, Mink Mila, Kim Cooper, Lique, Andrea Robertson, Carly Robertson, Hassall, Operation Karma, and Brunette Red Dress.

Alex Leahy is the headline act at Sweetfest.


Sweethearts music director Michael Fitzgerald said the Sweethearts Foundation was excited to provide a platform for live performance that empowered women in music.

“Every act involved has some form of female representation and we’re combining that with approximately eight to 10 school bands from around the region as well, which is great,” Michael said.

“The intention is we want to celebrate music and bring that festive vibe back to town and support those businesses who have been struggling a bit.

“Having a free, all ages event allows people to come and know they can buy food and drinks at some of the spaces and get to see some great entertainment … we are really thrilled to be part of that.”

A flashback to Sweetfest in 2018 which celebrated 30 years of Sweethearts. Photo: PATRICK CALLOW


Michael said the festival received funding through the City of Greater Geelong’s Arts Industry Commissions (AIC) announced in December last year, as well as support from Central Geelong Marketing, sponsors and the foundation itself.

“I would just say how proud we are at Sweethearts Foundation to be able to put together a lineup like this that is free, that is for all ages and carries on from our work to give opportunities to women, especially in a regional setting,” he said.

“We encourage people of all ages to come and enjoy the festivities, get involved in this music festival and see some of Australia’s best female artists.”

The Sweethearts band was established more than 30 years ago and is made up of between 25 to 30 young women from across Greater Geelong and Melbourne who have gained a reputation for sassy neo soul which has taken them on overseas tours, including a performance at the prestigious Montreux Jazz festival in Switzerland in 1997.

The Sweethearts Foundation was formed in the year 2000 to fully support and run the Sweethearts program and band.

For further information about Sweetfest or the work of the Sweethearts Foundation, head to the Sweethearts Foundation’s website.

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