Logan – the new hotspot for Chilli-Lovers

Chillogan Hellfire Alley

What is it about the chilli fruit that evokes such emotion, passion and excitement?

Judging by the success of Briz Chilli Fest in June, at Newstead, and the increased anticipation for Logan’s very own chilli festival to be held on Saturday 16th November, 2019, at Meadowbrook Golf Club, the heat is on, and it’s contagious.

Organiser Sandra Beynon of Body and Soul Australia Events and Entertainment knows how to bring the best out of people at her events.

By collaborating with some of Australia’s finest chilli product makers, such as Rob Dunn of Australian Extreme Chilli Condiments, Sandra is able to tap into how the minds of the so-called “chilli-heads’ work.

Why Logan?

Logan City Council has been besieged by scandal with its major and now 8 councillors have been charged with  fraud by the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission in relation to a detriment suffered by the former CEO of the Council.

Add to that the unfortunate label of “Logan Bogan” and you have a recipe for low morale in the area.

As anyone who has ever done business in the area or knows people who live in Logan know, it’s not fair to tar everyone with the same brush.  This is a region that, now more than ever, needs events in its midst which bolster its image, enhance its citizens’ enjoyment of their own city and give businesses and community groups the opportunity to shine.

Chillogan is now in its second year and, by engaging with a local business such as Meadowbrook Golf Club, hopes to grow its brand to become the city’s most anticipated festival in the annual events calendar.

For a one-woman organisation, this is a big job, but none is better equipped to take on such a mission as Ms Beynon, who now has two Briz Chilli Fests and two Bulimba (rebranding to Brisbane) Uke Fests under belt and who has been organising events since 1991.

A consummate performer and PR professional, Ms Beynon is well-equipped not only to organise but also to publicist and perform as MC at her events.  If she really wanted to, she could even perform as the professional singer that she is, but she chooses to draw the line somewhere.

“I can’t do everything.  I have to have time to oversee my festivals without the pressure of performing during the event.  Luckily, I have no shortage of great performers to call on to take over that mantle,” said Beynon.

Chilli festivals pop up here and there all over the Australian landscape and seem to incite the sort of excitement and anticipation as one would imagine is associated with an equal mix of pleasure and vicarious pain (and some would say sadistic voyeurism).

Chillogan and Briz Chilli Fest feature a jam-packed program of community engagement, dance, live music, spicy challenges, kids entertainment, an aptly-named AfterBurn Bar and a scary-sounding Hellfire Alley, 

“We’re really excited to be hosting Chillogan this year.  It’s a great boost for the Club in that we can demonstrate that we are more in the community than just somewhere to have a round of golf, ” said general manager, Steven Linskey.

And what a glorious spot Meadowbrook Golf Club is.  With sprawling grounds and plenty of room for car parking, and easterly breezes, it’s no wonder that Ms Beynon has chosen this venue for her second iteration of Chillogan.

“I believe Logan deserves more than just Eats and Beats.  It deserves its very own festival and that is what I am here to achieve, “said Beynon.

Tickets are available through Humanitix, which donates its booking fees to a charity of your choice. For Chillogan, this will be nutrition for Aussie schoolkids.

The festival also supports Logan-based charity YFS which provides essential services to disadvantaged individuals and families, by donating 10% of its net profits, plus all proceeds from raffles and auctions on the day.

Find out more about Chillogan at the website.

Chillogan Festival takes place Saturday 16th November, 2019 from 3-10pm at Meadowbrook Golf Club.

 

The secret life of music lovers

Missy Vader and the Dark Force

As I walk out of a bar in the Valley, having enjoyed a performance by two great musicians, I pondered about those people who are great supporters of live music and always make an effort to get out and soak up some tunes every weekend, or even during the week.

My neighbour Karim is one of those special people.

A middle-aged painter by trade, and a

Missy Vader and the Dark Force
Fronting four piece classic rock outfit Missy Vader and the Dark Force

bedroom guitarist,  he has a formidable commitment to the enjoyment of live music and, in doing so, is one of those precious people of whom the live music industry (and venues) need more.   Be it mid-week or weekend, he’s out there in awe of musicians, admiring their skill, their passion, their guts and sometimes feeling their pain as fewer than optimal people attend their shows.

Week in, week out, to get off your butt, get in the car or taxi,  spend money at the venue, pay a cover charge and give an artist your full attention for a few hours is nothing short of amazing.

Many more.

For artists, the joy of performing for a room full of people is something that makes their years of practice, loading and unloading gear, spending money on instruments, hustling for gigs, facing rejections and disappointments, and just the sheer commitment of being a gigging musician, all worth it.

We don’t even need a lot of people.  Just 20 or so and it’s a party.

Venues like Diggers Services Club has long been presenting quality acts at their Blackwood Street premises.  The staff are friendly, the food is served fast and each week features a different special on offering.

From the stage, we can see the entire club and people coming and going up the escalator, stopping to listen to our music, grooving along even when they are on a schedule to be somewhere else.

And those that stay right up until closing time are clearly there because of that same commitment to music (and dance).  We love seeing the regulars who can’t wait to get on the dance-floor and smile appreciatively when they see us loading in.

It’s those people that make everything worthwhile for artists.  The appreciation, the smiles, the dance floor where it doesn’t matter if you’re alone or with a group – everyone is welcoming and knows it’s the music that lifts your spirits and gets you up there, feeling every beat and taking a trip down memory lane.

I just wanted to say a big thank-you to those people who make the effort to come out, get up and dance and then stay until closing time.

We love you and appreciate you!

From all the musicians in the world – a giant heartfelt thank you.

The importance of music in society…..do you dig it?

Body and Soul playing at Diggers Services Club

For the last 12 days we have been travelling up the coast from Perth to Exmouth, and have played at five venues along the way.

When you get to the far-flung corners of Australia you realise that simple things like music are a little harder to come by.

There are some amazing venues in remote Australia; committed to growing their business, maintaining enthusiasm, finding the right staff, serving the right food – all the ingredients required to make a successful business.  And we all know success attracts success.

As musicians, we greatly value those venues that are committed to making live music a central part of their existence.   By believing in the power of music and continuing to offer a range of bands, soloists, duos and trios to entertain their patrons, these venues are upholding the tradition of the connection between artists and the general public.

After all, being a musician is not  never play to anyone?   The jury is out on that but, personally, I believe what keeps you improving, keeps you striving to be the best you can be as an artist, is the opportunity to play to an audience.

Venues like Diggers Services Club are a central part of their community by offering great food, a community atmosphere and a place to kick up your heels on a Friday or Saturday night; with old friends or to find new ones.

We love playing to the RnB-loving community at Diggers and always look forward to adding new songs to our repertoire in the knowledge that they’ll be well-received by our fans.

So, if you live in Logan, make a bee-line for Diggers and check out some of the awesome artists they have every weekend, playing for free, while you enjoy a delicious dinner in the bistro.

The friendly team behind the bar will be ready to mix up your favourite cocktails or pour your favourite brew, so get your friends together and enjoy some good, old-fashioned entertainment right in your own neighbourhood.

We’re playing again on Friday 30th July so maybe we’ll see you there!

Sean and Sandra