Train departing and returning Queenscliff Victoria, Australia
The Blues Train has been operating since 1994 but this was our first experience. It is a great initiative for the musicians who get regular gigs and the local community as most people stay in the area. Locals don’t seem to mind as you get plenty of waves from the houses along the line.
There are four carriages and you get nominated a sequence when you book. Each “set” goes for about 40 minutes then you stop at a station, take a pee fuel up on more booze and decamp to another carriage for another artist.
Our trip started with a band doing electric Chicago blues. Pretty good without being outstanding. Then a funky dance carriage where the seats went along the carriage ( Church pews, as it happens) for a bit of dancing. Probably better if that was the last carriage when everyone was fully charged but that is the luck of the draw. Some nice John Lee Hooker style solo blues followed and the night ended with a guy on amplified acoustic.
The train was sold out(it was a long weekend) but most trains are booked out, especially when name artists are booked to play. It is obviously a regular thing for a lot of people and I’d be happy to go again thoughI’d be picking my time for when some of my favourite artists are performing.
The event is quite well run and they have security in every carriage. Bucks and hens nights are banned and your bags are thoroughly searched for smuggled booze.
It’s not cheap $A120 per person which includes a meal of good fresh salads and meat but nothing flash. You can buy a non-returnable tin bucket for $15 full of ice and then stock it with drinks which are overpriced, of course. Then there is your accommodation.
Oh yeah. Queenscliff, It is an historic town at the heads of Port Phillip Bay. It is a lovely part of Victora about 90 mins drive from Melbourne.
Classic Afterword demographic. Quite a few band t-shirts on display. Interesting to watch the dynamics as you stay with the same group all night as the booze takes effect.
It made me think..
This seems like a great thing that could work anywhere. Do they do this sort of thing elsewhere?