Indigenous singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jessie Lloyd is one of the featured artists of this year’s Victorian Seniors Festival Radio Reimagined program. Listeners across the Whittlesea region can tune into the festival through local station Plenty Valley FM 88.6.

WHITTLESEA broadcaster Plenty Valley FM 88.6 is offering a unique program for the region’s older residents as part of this year’s Victorian Seniors Festival.

The station has joined other community radio stations across the state to broadcast the festival’s Radio Reimagined program, which includes music, radio plays, spoken-word features and other entertainment.

The festival, in its 38th year, was forced to adapt its usual program of live performances to cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent social-distancing requirements.

Festival manager Chris Reidy said radio programming played a key role in helping this year’s festival reach as many people as possible.

Radio Reimagined will be playing on Plenty Valley FM throughout September, with Victorian Senior Festival programs every Monday from 12pm to 2pm until September 28 and every Thursday from 12pm to 2pm until October 1.

Included as part of the station’s Monday programming are: A Night at the Theatre; At the Picture Palace; Radio Plays – Agatha Christie series and Scones, Lamingtons and Chocolate Rolls; Spoken Word – Stories from the Pier and Dark Tales.

Thursday programming will include spoken word, music features and radio plays including Bing Crosby and Friends, and one-off music specials such as Little Richard, Johnnie O’Keefe and Friends, The Day the Music Died and Jessie Lloyd’s Mission Songs project.

The new radio component of the festival was launched by Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan.

“Usually my simple message is to get out of the house and engage, participate, be involved and do something. This time around I’m encouraging people still to be engaged with the seniors festival, but it will be online and through radio,” Mr Donnellan said.

“During this period of coronavirus, we can’t be out of the house, we can’t be engaging with one another in the same way we usually do, so as a government and as a team we’ve put together [a lot of entertainment] for the seniors festival.”

The festival also includes an online component, and people can find more information at www.seniorsonline.vic.gov.au/festival.

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