Summertime Sessions In The Village at Mudgeeraba is the brainchild of the district’s active community Councillor and fellow Blank contributor Glenn Tozer, one sunny Mudgeeraba day Glenn met with Polly Snowden, and two discussed the community and how to bring it back to life. They concluded that music is what moved them and brought them closer to others around them, so they went on a quest to share this with a wider community. Summertime Sessions In The village was born. It’s been a creative partnership that has lasted two seasons with creative plans continuing to grow.
Glenn has built a great reputation across the Gold Coast community and is well known throughout the Mudgeeraba district, the man is not shy to a microphone, backyard barbecues, house concerts or a dance off. His smile is seen throughout the suburb cruising local businesses and actively connecting with the community, his passion for arts and community growth ensured he would serve the district another term at the last election.
One of the many reasons Glenn was re-appointed his role was the success and community vibe that resulted as part of the success of Summertime Sessions in the Village. The community event which sees some of Australia’s best rising stars take to the stage in front of dozens of groups of young men and women, families of all ages, children, teens and the community elders, has reunited and rekindled one of the Gold Coast’s first established towns and turned its Friday afternoons into a bustling vibrant menagerie of locals, out-of towners and ex pats all gathered on their picnic rugs, sharing food and drink, while children run in groups giggling together with painted faces and hand made flower crowns.
Most recently the Mudgeeraba markets moved from the Showgrounds to join the cultural momentum. Summertime Sessions has been a series that has catapulted the town back into its truest form, a community village rich and alive with culture, arts, spirit and opportunity.
Since its debut Summertime Sessions has inspired a slew of sibling events across the city, such as Palmy Sunday Fun Days at the pirate park in Palm Beach, which runs through most of December. These colourful, family filled, relaxing end of week events saw hundreds gather each week and the community reconnected and engaged once more. This year it will be back in just a few weeks and the ripples will spread across Coolangatta and Kirra, with a recent announcement of Seaside Sounds presented by Cr Gail O’Neil following the successful format plus whispers of other divisions soon to announce their own music series.
Summertime Sessions wraps up this current round on 9 December but returns on 4 February, running through to March with a slew of acts including Captain Dreamboat and SEED artist Kirsty Abrahams with more to be announced.
We shared a few words and laughs with Glenn to congratulate him and here’s what he had to say:
What impact has Summertime Sessions had on the community of Mudgeeraba and the wider community?
It’s been great to bring people together in our Village for a picnic. There’s always been three purposes of Summertime Sessions in the Village; 1. to activate a local park and give people an opportunity to enjoy time with their neighbours (this builds community resilience and trust); 2. to activate the Friday night economy in Mudgeeraba Village (this creates local jobs); and 3. to build cultural momentum amongst my local community, many of whom may not be able to get out to the local live music scene later at night (this builds city pride, which grows citizenship).
How does it feel to have the event adopted by other councillors and now other parks around the city activated?
It’s been flattering, but music in the park isn’t that new. While we’re chuffed that our model that supports local musicians in a family friendly time slot has spread around the city, we’re also practical that cultural momentum needs to regularly reinvent itself and not take itself too seriously. We love our community and we’re all about growing the passion for live music, creativity, and a sense of “family” on the Gold Coast. We think events like #SSitV and its various other incarnations help do that awesomely!
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Summertime Sessions in the Village wraps up soon for 2016. The last two dates are:
Friday 2 December: Moreton + Ryan Gittoes
Friday 9 December: Jason McGregor + Blues Stomp