Lake Bolac Eel Festival



Neil Murray to head Eel Festival music line-up

by Sally Gibson

TN161 Feb 24

This year’s Lake Bolac Eel Festival in Victoria is fast approaching, Friday 22 to Saturday 23 March.

Tickets have been kept at the same very affordable prices as the 2022 festival  and can be found at .

The music line-up has been confirmed and includes an impressive collection of artists.

As well as music, the festival includes an auction of regional artwork on the Friday night, workshops, a forum on the theme of ‘Song, Story, Dance: Ceremony and Celebration’ and a Twilight Ceremony of First Nations’ dancers.

An array of food stalls will keep you fed all day and into the night.

The festival celebrates the traditional annual autumn eel feast of local First Nations’ mobs.

Following is some background information on some of our main artists.

Maverick songman, Neil Murray originally sprang from Victoria’s western district but, in the late 1970s, with guitar in hand he set course for the Northern Territory.

He emerged at Papunya in 1980 as a founding member of the pioneering Warumpi Band, which over three albums (Big Name No Blankets, Go Bush and Too much Humbug) and 20 years of performing, thrust contemporary indigenous music into mainstream Australia, yielding such classic songs as My Island Home, Blackfella Whitefella, Fitzroy Crossing, Jailanguru Pakarnu, Stompin Ground and, From The Bush and Waru.

He has since become one of Australia’s finest singer/songwriters, enjoying a solo career since 1989.

He has released a remarkable string of albums, the latest, The Telling, which marks a recording career of four decades.

Andy Alberts is a proud Gunditjmara man who performs all over Victoria and has played for the Eel Festival before.

His terrific 2007 album, Life and Land tells great stories of growing up on country and the challenges faced.

He returns to Lake Bolac with his band, The Walkabouts.

Gabby Steel is a singer-songwriter powerhouse, leaving audiences spellbound with her enthralling stage presence and striking vocals.

Drawing inspiration from iconic artists such as Missy Higgins, Adele and Courtney Barnett, Gabby weaves a tapestry of soul, pop, and jazz influences into her music to create a sound that is both fresh yet familiar.

At the heart of Gabby’s musical prowess is her honest and authentic approach to songwriting.

In 2019, the Geelong musician released her debut, self-titled EP filled with evocative lyrics that tackle big issues from mental health and gun violence to bullying.

Gabby has gone on to release a second EP titled Scuttle in 2022 and was recently joined by her rockin’ girl band for the release of her latest work, The Urge Will Pass.

Gabby Steel
Tim Scanlan is a multi-instrumentalist and high energy folk singer in the traditional style.

He travels the world and plays everywhere from streets to theatres and will be performing with his wife, Mana Okubo on fiddle.

Skyglass is a trio of violin, guitar and shakuhachi (a Japanese bamboo flute) performing original music.

From spacious soundscapes to driving polyrhythms, each instrumental incorporates sung and spoken word into engaging and moving performances that explore the fragility of existence.

Bruce Watson is a major Australian songwriter and performer in the folk tradition.

Based in Melbourne, he performs around Australia and internationally at festivals, clubs and other venues.

His performances are joyful and thoroughly engaging, with witty lyrics and energetic presentation, but also the power to move audiences to tears.

He is a masterful craftsman of songs, be they evocative and heart wrenching, or side-splittingly funny.

Seal Prince and the Roof Rats are a folk rock band from Geelong and have been included in the festival line up after singer, Lachie Chomley played a ripper set on the Busker’s Stage at the 2022 Eel Festival.

Brett Clarke has been involved with the festival since the beginning in 2005.

A regular participant on the walks, he is also a singer/songwriter creating songs to empower, uplift and inspire universal oneness.

Volunteers who work for a specified number of hours before or during the festival will receive a free ticket to the festival on the Saturday.

Contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Una Allender, on or on 0419 891 920.