The annual Macedon Ranges Music Festival (MRMF), formerly ‘Day on the Red Music Festival’, is an event that began in a backyard in Gisborne, Victoria in 2013. Inspired to raise money for a special charity and have a good time along the way, some local families called in their musical mates to perform for friends on a laid back afternoon. They compiled whatever equipment they could to produce a makeshift sound system to complement their handmade temporary stage and the festival was born.
The festival eventually grew out of the backyard in 2016 and went public for the first time at Sankey Reserve in Gisborne. This meant abandoning the handmade stage and bringing in a stage truck and professional sound system to accommodate the larger bands and crowds. After only one year at Sankey, the festival team were forced to find a new venue following Council’s concerns that the festival would grow into an event too big for Gisborne to handle in terms of traffic and parking space. This led to the current location, the Gisborne Steam Park, hosting the festival. The park is an open field which festival flags and smiling faces now bring to life on the first weekend of March every year.
Despite its growth, the event is still entirely volunteer-run and proudly donates 100% of its ticket sales directly to the non-profit organisation, Cambodian Kids Foundation (CKF). Over $40,000 has been raised over the festival's journey. The festival appeals to all ages with a diverse range of musical genres from folk and jazz to blues and rock evolving throughout the afternoon and into the evening upon the doorstep of the extraordinary Mount Macedon.
Since its humble beginnings, MRMF has hosted renowned Australian performers such as Husky, Stonefield, Lloyd Spiegel, Tracy McNeil, Mick Thomas (Weddings, Parties, Anything), The Heartache State and Nick Barker (Nick Barker and the Reptiles) supported by local acts Taylor Sheridan, Old Money Mountain, The Growl Lands, Blue Howl, Walker's Road, Scott Boyd, Jared Brentnall, The Naturally Cool Big Band, Paper Jane, Stefanie Mott and many more.
The festival now also brings three local sideshows to music venues of the Macedon Ranges in the three weeks prior to the festival. These sideshows have proven to be popular with local acts performing in intimate local venues.
So that’s our story so far, and it’s only just beginning.