Rockin’ On East

The winner’s of the 2016 Rockin’ On East pin-up competition play up to the crowd.


The Rockin’ on East festival is on for another year, with plenty of action to keep the whole family occupied. Live music, stalls, a street parade and a pin-up competition are just some of the events on offer for the weekend.

The Friday night will kick off with a meet and greet so that everyone can get together. The night will also enable the Rockin’ on East committee to thank the many sponsors who have made the festival a possibility.

Saturday is the main day of the festival. The day will kick off at 9am with live music in the main street. Stalls will be set up in the main street with clothes, goods and food to sell. There will be amusements for the kids as well. A Rock ‘n’ Roll dance class for beginners will be held at 10am, and at 10.30am the pin-up workshop will kick off. The street parade will be held at one, and the winners of the pin-up competition – along with the crowning of Miss Rockin’ on East – will judged and announced after the parade. At 2.30pm the Toast of the Riverina will be held at the New Criterion Hotel. Visitors will have the chance to sample local produce, artisan cheese and locally made beer and wine as a part of the Riverina Taste Festival. The last bands will finish at 4pm, and then the evening entertainment kicks off with Melbourne band The Fender Benders performing at the Ex-Servicemen’s Club from 6.30pm.

Sunday will begin bright and early with a car display in the Marie Bashir Park. Anyone who has a vintage or statement car can
display their vehicle in the park. There will also be markets and stalls for anyone to browse and shop to their heart’s content. Johnny Phung will hold an intermediate Rock ‘n’ Roll dance class from 10am. The first entertainment for the morning in the park will be Shannon Rivero, who will turn his considerable talents to DJing the hits of the 50s and 60s. Later on at 12.30pm Terry Leonard and Nigel Stanley will be performing an Elvis and Roy Orbison show.

On Sunday night there will be another band at the Ex-servicemen’s Club, with the Honkytonk Rockers putting on a show from

Rockin’ on East is about fun for all the family, but nothing would be possible if it weren’t for the support of the many, many local businesses who have donated money, time and resources to helping make the festival a success. The hard work of the Rockin’ on East Committee can’t be understated either, with many committee members donating their time and skills to make the festival a reality.

Some of the delicious produce on offer at Rockin’ On East’s Toast to the Region event.


The Riverina Taste Festival will have one of its first events during Rockin’ on East, with the Toast to the Region held on Saturday afternoon.

Held at the New Criterion Hotel, the event has grown out of a wine-tasting that originated at the inception of the festival, and has now grown to encompass a range of local produce. Hand-made salamis, cured by local producers, along with a sample of cheeses from the Coolamon Cheese Factory will be on offer for guests. Riverina Grove are offering a sample of their olives, to be served alongside some home grown fare. The Yenda brewery will provide beer and Dee Vine Estate wines will be served as well.

Tickets are $10 each, which will enable guests to try either four sample glasses of wine four sample glasses of beer, two of each or two full glasses of beer or wine. The event will go from 2.30pm to 4.30pm and tickets are available either at the door or at Rockin’ HQ at 98 East Street.

Johnny Phung, with wife and fellow dance instructor Sue, is looking forward to this weekend’s festival.


If you can walk, you can dance, according to Johnny Phung, a rock ‘n’ roll dance teacher for over 20 years. Mr Phung, together with Sue, his wife and fellow dance instructor, will run two dance classes over the weekend.

“The whole idea was to do a beginners class, to attract locals and to attract anyone who may not have danced before,” Mr Phung said.

Mr Phung said that dancers were free to record the lesson on a phone or a tablet, so that they could go and learn dancing in their own free time.

“Sunday morning is for the people who have been dancing for a little bit longer. But you’re welcome to come to both. The more the merrier. As for us, I know I will show up and instruct as many people who turn up and we can fit into the hall. I can instruct anywhere between two people and 200.”

A former competition dancer, Mr Phung has won over 80 competitions in Rock n’ Roll dancing, including the North East title, the Victoria title and South Pacific title just to name a few. Mr Phung was also one of the 2014 Championships Judges for the State Championships, with a wealth of knowledge and experience he is happy to share.

On top of the classes, Mr Phung also organised a demonstration of Rock ‘n’ Roll dancers, known as Johnny’s Rockers, who performed at the Narrandera Show earlier this month. Johnny’s Rockers will be performing throughout the festival weekend, and are happy to offer advice to would-be dancers.

“I’ve been teaching for 25 years now. Rock ‘n’ Roll dancing is just a passion we’d always had. We’d always loved the music, so we thought we’d get into the dancing.”

Mr Phung said he was keen to see as many Narrandera people at his classes as possible.

“We’re just hoping the locals will support Rockin’ on East. We’re trying to get as many locals as we can. The more the merrier.”

The beginners dance class will take place on Saturday September 30 at 10am in the Auditorium of the Narrandera Ex-servicemen’s Club while the intermediate class will be at 10am on the Sunday. Cost is $20 per person per class.


Celebrating 1950s cars, 1950s dancing and 1950s bands is all fine and well, but it rings hollow without celebrating the 1950s look.

A hair and make-up workshop will be held at 10.30am on Saturday at the CRC, with make-up advice from Catalina Colie of Atomic Union and hair styling from Steph Levett of Hair Abode. Would-be pinups will need to bring their own make-up.

After the street parade a pin-up competition will be held, with the winner crowned Miss Rockin’ on East. There are categories open for men, women, teenagers and children.

“Pin-up is on trend at the moment,” said Ms Colie. “I think there’ll be a lot of girls who are interested in getting the look but just aren’t sure what to do. So its tips for achieving the 50s look.”

Ms Colie said there are two key things that anchor a 1950s style.

Baillee French strikes a pose having taken part in last year’s pin-up workshop at the Rockin’ On East festival.

“Quintessentially, red lipstick and black winged eyeliner. With hair, you can either have a wet-set style or a more rockabilly look, with lots of teasing and a bandanna. They’re the standout looks.”

Ms Colie grew up in the rockabilly culture. She travels extensively to compete in pinup competitions, and last year travelled to America to compete in the Nashville Boogie, where she placed second.

“The Nashville Boogie is more of a country and western thing. It was great seeing the girls in their pin-up dresses and cowboy boots – and big hair. There were some giant hairstyles.

“It’s world-wide. In every culture there’s pin-up girls, it’s not just confined to one culture. Girls will travel for it. Girls come interstate for pinup competitions.”

Ms Colie says the appeal of the 1950s pin-up comes from the attitudes of the era.

“People were coming out of World War II. It had been a really terrible time, and everything was rationed. And so people threw their energy into this time of chrome and colour. Kitchen tables were pink and yellow; chairs were green and blue. It was a time to celebrate being alive.

“You look at Dior – there’s an exhibition out now in Melbourne. The clothing itself is as iconic as art.

“I see the look rubbing off on pop culture. Amy Winehouse really brought it into the mainstream, but you can see a bit of it with Adele as well.”

Ms Colie said that the pinup look can play a part in changing the way you feel.

“Even when you take yourself out – people look at you a bit more, people are more friendly and they talk to you. I drive a big pink Cadillac and people wave at it when I’m out. I’ll be at the petrol station and older men will come up and tell me about the first cars they bought back in the day.

“Nobody’s grumpy in a rockabilly skirt and red lipstick.”


Friday, September 29

Meet & Greet
Narrandera Bowling Club from 7pm

Saturday, September 30

Markets & buskers in East Street ALL DAY

BAND: Australian Army Band – Kapooka Rock Band
Bolton Street stage from 9am – 11.30am

Dance Lessons with Johnny Phung
Beginners class – $20 per person
Narrandera Ex-servicemen’s Club  10am – 11.30am

Pin-up Workshop
$20 per person (includes Competition entry)
Narrandera CRC Church Hall  10.30am – 11.30am

BAND: Gedupndans
Bolton Street stage from 12.30pm – 4pm

Street Parade down East Street at 1pm

Pin-up Competition
$5 entry
in front of Bolton Street stage directly after the street parade

A Toast to the Region
New Criterion from 2.30pm – 4.30pm
Tickets $10 ($5 for non-alcoholic option)

BAND: The Fender Benders
Narrandera Ex-servicemen’s Club
7pm – late Entry: $25 per person

Sunday, October 1

Markets in Marie Bashir Park ALL DAY

DJ Shannon
Playing 50s & 60s hits from 9am – 12noon

Car & Bike Display
10am – 4pm
Winner of People’s Choice announced at 3pm

Dance Lessons with Johnny Phung
Intermediate class – $20 per person
Narrandera Ex-servicemen’s Club  10am – 12noon

BAND: Double Trouble – Terry Leonard and Nigel Stanley
Park stage from 12noon – 4pm

Raffle Drawn 2pm

BAND: Honkytonk Rockers
Narrandera Ex-servicemen’s Club
7pm – late Entry: $25 per person

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