Well, if you’ve ridden The Blues Train before, I guess you already know the answer to that… people just like you! But if you haven’t had a chance and are still a Blues Train virgin, or your ‘that’ friend who is always been saying I’d love to do that, why don’t we have a go on that? Our friends have done it, and they all said it was awesome – it’s time to get on board!
Let us tell you about some of our patrons and we’ve included some photo’s of their experiences, because after all a picture tells 1000 words! I’ll also add a few words in along the way to help you along the journey that is getting on board the amazing Blues Train at Queenscliff.
A lot of our patrons are around their late 40s or early 50s. They’ve got a great and active lifestyle. A lot of our tickets are booked by females, and although guys and girls travel on the train in a fairly even mix it’s just that for some reason women are a lot more organised! Most of our fans are not musicians but they’ve grown up loving live music and their friendship groups share that same interest. Lots of them regularly go to festivals and events and many of them have adult children that have also grown up enjoying music. One of the most popular things about The Blues Train is you know you’re guaranteed a really good meal, lots of fresh food, an American inspired feed and plenty to eat for everybody.
Another group of people who regularly come on the show are our empty nesters. These are the people who have retired or semi-retired and the kids have left home. Many of them are music tourists who love to come along with their friends and have lots of catch ups and often combine it with travel and accommodation in the region. Whether it’s a significant birthday or they bring the caravan or camper and enjoy staying in one of the many accommodation options in Queenscliff.
The Blues Train has been running for 26 years and one of things that we’ve noticed is there is a whole new generation of people loving blues and roots music. Whether it’s because Mum and Dad exposed them to music on the radio, on PBSFM or RRRFM in Melbourne or going to festivals like Queenscliff Music Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival or even the Byron Bay Blues and Roots Music Festival. I guess for want of a better word, we call them hipsters. Lots of them are from inner-city Melbourne and they’re fantastic young couples that often come with extended family groups. All their mates love the music and love the experiences of heading down the coast. They’re checking out the local second-hand shops, staying in Airbnb, and visiting our local wineries or Little Creatures Brewery on their way home. They love our regional craft beers and dressing up for a great night out.
One group of people have been coming on The Blues Train ever since it started. The legendary baby boomers are a huge part of our music and tourism culture. I guess nowadays they are called grey nomads. They’re an amazing generation who grew up loving music. Many of them have been visiting our region for decades – they may have originally started off in the local caravan parks and then graduated to a holiday home in the area over time. They love that they can get up and have a dance on The Blues Train but also probably appreciate having a sit down for dinner and a great glass of wine from our local region.
We’ve hosted lots of really significant birthday parties on The Blues Train, and one of the things that we’ve noticed over the years is that whether it’s the 30th birthday of our hipsters, a 40th birthday of our music lovers, a 50th birthday for our regulars or a 60th birthday for our boomers, it’s a really memorable evening and often we see extended friends come back for their birthdays.
I guess the last major group that we host on The Blues Train is functions for businesses. They really want to take their staff out for a memorable evening. Whether its real estate agent’s, property developers or groups of medical professionals, or really any type of work colleague, they love a work get together. One of the really appealing parts for the group hosts is that everyone is guaranteed a meal before departure. We can run a bar tab and take care of everything on the night.
One of the things we’ve noticed in recent years is a lot of people who work in tourism and hospitality have their annual work get together or staff awards function in April, May, August and September because everyone is just too busy around that peak Summer / Christmas time. Lots of our companies come back every couple of years to revisit a night on The Blues Train with regular staff members and often bringing new staff members to experience the fun of the show.
So, you’ll meet lots of people on The Blues Train. Whilst the tickets are allocated to particular carriages for travelling, you’ll still meet lots of people at the platforms, the bar and whilst dining before departure.
You might surprise yourself when you come on board, you might meet some new friends, make friends for life, or run in to some friends you haven’t seen in a while. Who knows! But there’s one thing I do know, there’s only one way to find out – Jump on board and we’ll see you on The Blues Train soon!