The Great Alpine Pick – A Return to Harrietville’s Past.
Submitted by Angus Golding
When Arriving in Harrietville, 6 months earlier than usual, I am reminded of all the great Harrietville Bluegrass conventions past, even the ones at the old Bon Accord when I was just a small tacker. I never cared much for the music then, but always remembered the amount of jamming that went on in the common rooms of Bon Accord, with the fire raging keeping everyone warm, and the large amounts of medication on offer. As soon as we set up the registration on the Friday, (in the common room of Unit one of the old Bon Accord of course) it seemed as if the Harrietville’s of old had never left, as instantly a jam session started out of no-where, where people played sitting on the nice comfy couches by the fire and picking away. I thought to myself, even if this Great Alpine Pick was to be a financial disaster, it would still be worth the effort of putting it together.
Without those impromptu jam sessions, it just wouldn’t be A Great Alpine Pick.
One of the many highlights for me would have to be on the Sunday morning, with the gospel workshop and concert in the small Catholic Church just beside the general store. No need for amplification, the church was doing that naturally and if you closed your eyes, you could just about imagine that you were in one of those old western movies where everyone is singing to the Lord. It was just magic. The other main highlight would have to be the Blackboard concert on the Sunday afternoon, although by that time I was pretty exhausted running around doing sound, registration and other things I could still enjoy the great show of enthusiasts and headline acts playing together. If you were one of the lucky ones to see the Pipi Pickers with a few local ring-ins you’ll know what I’m talking about.
While all the other events went as planned, without a hint of major trouble (the main concert, the dance, the workshops) I think what made the whole event a success was just going to either the pubs, or to the dining room of the Mountain View Retreat (the old Bon Accord) and just partaking or just enjoying a great jam session. Without those impromptu jam sessions, it just wouldn’t be a Great Alpine Pick.
On behalf of all the organizers, I would like to thank everyone including the bands, the MCs, the Soundies, the Volunteers, the local businesses (Casbak, Mountain View, Harrietville Hotel Motel and Snowline Hotel especially for putting people up) and the local community who helped make the Great Alpine Pick a success – Angus.
P.S. At this stage, we have tentatively booked 27th -29th April, 2012, for the next Great Alpine Pick in Harrietville, but would still like your feedback, by filling online survey, or just emailing us at in**@gr*************.net. Even if you didn’t come this year, we’d still like to hear your thoughts or suggestions.