Moechella set to rock for worthy cause

Zac Standish

Taking inspiration from one of the world’s biggest music festivals, after a year off due to COVID, Moechella will be returning to the Moe Hotel for its second edition on Saturday, May 22.

A day filled with a fantastic array of music for people of all tastes, the festival is a symbol of the community coming together to support a great cause, which in 2021 will be raising awareness for mental health issues.

Moechella committee member Dean Abbott said they are extremely excited to get the event up and running after the events of 2020.

“We are super excited to get things back going again,” Mr Abbott said.

“We were looking at putting together an event in 2020, but due to COVID we had to postpone, so this is the earliest opportunity we thought we had to get the event up and going,

“It has certainly been a long time coming.”

Taking place at the iconic Moe Hotel, known as ‘Leggies’, manager and fellow Moechella committee member Shannon Murphy is eager to bring the event and over 250 patrons to the establishment.

“Obviously during COVID we were closed for a long time, so to host an event like this is huge for us,” Mr Murphy said.

“We are just excited to welcome back so many people to the hotel and to be involved in a cause such as this is just fantastic.”

The public response to the festival has been nothing short of overwhelming with tickets to the event selling out in just over a month.

“The response from the local community has been huge,” Mr Abbott said.

“Pending restrictions we are hoping to sell more tickets but for the time being we are sold out,

“We already have an online wait list of around 40 odd, so we are confident that if limits are eased and we can sell more tickets they will be sold out as well.”

With the first event taking place in November 2019, Mr Murphy explained the main motivation behind organising the festival and their initial inspiration.

“A friend of ours and his family have a young fella (Saxon Wilson) that needed some medical treatment for an extremely rare genetic disorder (known as Cri du chat syndrome),” he said.

“Obviously treatment is not available locally so the cost of getting that treatment was quite expensive, as they needed to go to the NAPA centre in Sydney which is one of only three of its kind worldwide,

“Last time around we raised enough money for multiple rounds of treatment with the final sum being in excess of $40,000.”

Experiencing such great success in its inaugural fundraising campaign, the Moechella committee have gotten behind a new local cause as they look to raise much needed awareness for mental health.

Mental health will be especially poignant at this years Moechella after the Moe community was rocked by the sudden passing of Riley Pearce earlier this year.

Mr Abbott said they were looking to assist in any way they could.

“The Pearce family are a very well known local family and much loved throughout the community,” he said.

“So when we heard about the tragedy that struck them we decided we would approach them and offer any sort of assistance to raise funds for a charity or help in any way we could,

“We are really thankful they took us up on our offer, so not only is Moechella about running a music festival but we have a purpose and without that purpose we wouldn’t run the event.”

From the family’s perspective, Riley’s dad Andrew says they were taken aback by the committee’s generous offer for assistance.

“It was absolutely huge (to receive their help), it is so touching and overwhelming,” Mr Pearce said.

“To have community support it means so much to us.”

With the big day coming later this month, Mr Murphy explains what the public can expect from this year’s event.

“Our headline band is Dead City Limits who are about to set off on a tour with KISS when they come out to Australia,” he said.

“There are a bunch of other well-known bands from Melbourne along with local artists, it is a more of hard rock/Aussie rock theme with some more mainstream acts coming in as well,

“There will be 13 bands and artists over three different stages spread out throughout the hotel.”

Moechella will take place on Saturday, May 22 in honour of Riley Pearce with all funds raised going to the Black Dog Institute.