OCEAN Grove will transform into a music lover’s haven next month as the fifth annual Light of Day Australia Winter Gigs rolls into town.
Across the June 22 and 23 weekend, 20 musicians and solo performers will grace stages across four venues to raise funds and awareness for Parkinson’s disease.
Last year’s event raised $20,000 for the Shake it Up Foundation and the Light of Day Foundation (LODF) who work together globally to find a cure for Parkinson’s.
Australia-wide 80,000 people are impacted by the progressive, degenerative neurological condition that affects a person’s control of their body movements; with 32 Australians diagnosed every day.
Ocean Grove’s Richard Grimmett and cofounder of Light of Day Australia (LODFA) was diagnosed in 2011 and said what began as a journey to the LODF’s homeland in the United States accumulated into Grove’s own music fundraiser.
“Alan Barber (LODFA co-founder) and I went to New Jersey (where the original fundraiser was held) to talk to the musicians and their managers about bringing it to Australia,” he said.
“It was a wonderful to be in New Jersey with the sights, sounds and boardwalk and in Bruce Springsteen territory – he’s an unofficial patron of LODF.
“They immediately agreed so this year will be the fifth time we’ve ran it. It’s gained a lot of traction, the first year was just one venue, the Chicken Shop and was a small gathering but the town’s generosity was amazing.
“A wave of awareness comes over the town every winter now and brings a greater understanding about the disease, which is the second highest neurological disease affecting Australians after dementia.”
Mr Grimmett said despite a family history, with his brother, father and uncle all living with Parkinson’s, he never thought it would happen to him.
“My sense of smell was the first thing that went; it happened so gradually that I didn’t really notice. The second sign was my walking pattern, my wife was walking behind me, and she noticed my right arm wasn’t swinging but my left arm was.”
Mr Grimmett said since his diagnosis he’d continued to live a full life.
“I recently underwent Deep Brain Stimulation (a neurosurgical procedure where a neurostimulator is implanted into the brain and sends electrical impulses, to specific targets in the brain). It helped enormously, it’s an incredible change in me where I’ve virtually got my life back.
“Before when my medication was wearing off, which would be about every four hours, I couldn’t keep still. I’d be moving, writhing, twisting – you should see me cooking the evening meal, there were potato peels everywhere.
“As soon as they switched on the device, I just stopped moving; it was fantastic. And to go through that procedure which is fairly gruelling, you have to be conscious, it was all worth it.”
International stars and Celtic rockers Claymore will perform alongside Joe Creighton, Jimi Hocking, Kite Machine, 10 High Fly, Dreamboogie, Gallie and Sweet Felicia.
Also appearing this year will be the Wayne Jury Four, the Big Bash Band, Liam Gerner, SoulEstate, Princess Planet, Zeffa, Jarrod Shaw, We the Radio, Saoirse and Hey Mammoth.
For the first time the winner of the recent Shake the Mic contest, a junior battle of the bands competition, will appear in the line-up.
The Ocean Grove shows are on June 22 and June 23 with music playing simultaneously at the Piping Hot Chicken and Burger Grill, the Driftwood Café, Maggies Bar and the Olive Pit Delicatessen, all of which are on the Terrace, from 6pm.
Tickets are available via trybooking.com, details at lightofdayaustralia.com