Farewell Jack

First appeared in The Moorabool News, March 3 2017

Hearts were heavy at this year’s Golden Plains Music Festival as punters paid tribute to the man who helped make the magic happen.

John (Jack) Nolan, one of the festival founders, passed away just two weeks ago.

His friend, and co-organiser, Greg Peele took to the stage on Saturday (March 11) to officially open the festival alongside Jack’s son, Chris.

Mr Peele said Jack was the fifth generation of the Nolan family to farm the land in which the festival is held on.

“He had a deep deep love for this property. He also had a deep love for these festivals and he got a real kick out of seeing all you people come here every year,” he said.

“Some say [Jack] has gone to visit his old mate Johnny Cash, I certainly hope that’s where he is, singing ‘Sunday Morning Coming Down’.”

Mr Peele then waited for Chris, who is in a wheelchair following a multi-organ failure in 1996, to give him a blink, which serves as the official opening of the festival.

“I know right now, Jack is smiling down on us and he is wishing all of you the most golden of Golden Plains,” Mr Peele said.

“So please, have a bloody good one”.

Highlights of the weekend included New Zealand musician, Neil Finn, who put on a tear-jerking performance under the stars, bringing the entire crowd to a standing ovation for “Don’t Dream It’s over” and “Fall at Your Feet”.

Melbourne quintet, Total Giovanni made another appearance at the Supernatural Amphitheater, however, this time the sun was down, bringing out an array of bright moving glow sticks.

During the afternoon, Queensland electronic quartet, Confidence Man had the crowd dirty dancing to ‘Boyfriend’, jumping up and down and raising their shoes in a sign of Meredith admiration.

A long term festival attendee, Chad Barron, referred to the feeling of the biannual festival as “waking up on Christmas morning as a five-year-old to find Santa has been”.

“Those three days are sacred for many. The ecstatic revelers, the local and international music talent, not to mention the site itself and organisation from festival staff and Aunty Meredith – this festival will always hold a special place in our hearts”