Stokes on a hot streak at Beer and BBQ Fest

GOOD TIMES: After performing one of the biggest gigs of their career at the Mount Gambier/Berrin Beer and BBQ Fest, Stokes band members Jimmy Wallace, Mikey McInerney and Jack Lockwood are now hoping to focus on working towards releasing new music and working in the studio more into 2024. Picture: SUPPLIED

Tyler Redway

IN the aftermath of the first ever Mount Gambier/Berrin Beer and BBQ Festival, local band Stokes has expressed its excitement and pride for their performance on what was a scorching weekend.

Stokes front man Mikey McInerney said the festival contributed to what was potentially the “best weekend of his life”.

“It was definitely one of our best shows and having the production and stage setup at that sort of level really helped to give us such a good sound,” Mr McInerney said.

“It was very hot so some shirts were having to come off during some of the songs.

“It was this thing where it was very familiar territory for us, but the festival vibe of it made us feel like we were somewhere totally different like a big city.”

Last year, Stokes managed to score a spot in the Adelaide Beer and BBQ Festival after claiming victory in a previous Battle of the Bands competition.

Mr McInerney said although they already had experience with the festival, it was a different feeling now the festival was being hosted on familiar territory.

“It was this thing where it was very familiar territory for us, but the festival vibe of it made us feel like we were somewhere totally different like a big city,” he said.

“The networking for us and meeting the people behind it as well, while also being able to meet all the other really great acts was a really cool experience for us.

“We are local, but at the same time it also feels like we are in a completely different area.”

Mr McInerney said a highlight during the event was the opportunity to perform alongside other veterans of the music scene.

“To see how the bigger acts prepare themselves and carry themselves on stage is definitely something we are taking notes on,” he said.

“We had very good support as well, so I want to shout out the sound crew who were also local as well.

“I was expecting them to bring in someone from Adelaide but they actually managed to get some local people from Mount Gambier who helped us out and gave us that good quality sound we were getting.”

Mr McInerney said he hoped the first Beer and BBQ Festival for Mount Gambier/Berrin would also give the region more of a spotlight when it came to events of a similar scale and nature.

“Hopefully it can lead to more opportunities for festivals of this size because we would love to be a part of it,” he said.

“Hopefully it has given Mount Gambier a bit of a spotlight to be able to host more festivals and events of that size too because we could really use some.”

Mr McInerney said now with the festival behind them, Stokes would now shift their focus onto spending time in the studio hoping to release new music later in the year.

“Our main focus now is that we have finally done this festival, we’ll most likely consider getting ready for some studio time,” he said.

“We do have a few unreleased songs so 2024 will be the year of new music and is the main focus for us while we lay low for a little bit.

“A big thanks to everyone who came and supported local music, especially sitting in the crazy heat which can be a big ask.”