Busker is now music festival director

Musician Lee Rosser is the new director of the Apollo Bay Music Festival.

MUSICIAN Lee Rosser started as a busker at the Apollo Bay Music Festival 10 years ago – now he’s the festival’s director.

Rosser has taken the reins from Caroline Moore as the director of the 20th Apollo Bay Music Festival.

He has performed across the country as the frontman of band Rambunctious, and said his music industry experience would help him in his new role.

“I’ve been involved in the Apollo Bay Music Festival for a long time now, ever since my band started busking in our first year there,” he said.

“We thought busking next to an ATM was a stroke of genius – we’d all turn and look at whoever was getting money out, and the crowd would too, and they’d be guilted into it.

“We sold a lot of CDs that day.”

Rosser said the festival’s organisers added his band to the bill the following year.

“After that we played all over the place, and I’ve been involved in music in some form ever since,” he said.

Rosser, of Bright in north-east Victoria, owns a production company and has staged the Cool Summer Festival at Mount Hotham for the past four years.

He said he had big plans for Apollo Bay’s festival.

“I really want to take the festival back to its roots,” Rosser said.

“Festivals used to be about finding new acts but now it’s all so competitive to get the big headliners and every line-up looks the same – festivals have become very corporate,” he said.

“So I wanted to take it back to how things used to be and have a real mix of young and old acts as well as up-and-comers.”

The festival’s line-up includes Dallas Frasca, Lior, Barry Morgan and Tom Tuena, with the second round of announcements out this week.

Rosser encouraged Colac and district’s budding musicians to apply for a busking licence at the festival.

“We’re now open to buskers, as well as volunteers, so anyone who wants to be involved behind the scenes can do that,” he said.

“I’m also really interested in working with young people in the community and helping new bands or people who may want production experience.”

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