Music is the magic at the nexus between maker and player...

 A series of short performances will be staged over the weekend of the festival featuring guitars made by exhibiting makers.
This year, we have 6 established guitarists from diverse musical backgrounds who are also enthusiastic advocates of handmade instruments!
If you’re looking for that special guitar and would like some expert advice and assistance, our performers with the orange name tags are at your service. Feel free to approach them!






Saturday 10th October

11.30am - 11.50am Sergio Ercole, Lucas Michailidis

12.30pm - 12.50pm Justin Bernasconi, Pete Fidler, Dean Addison

2pm - 2.20pm Justin Bernasconi, Lucas Michailidis

3pm - 3.20pm Sam Lemann, Pete Fidler, Dean Addison


Sunday 11th October

11.00am - 11.20am Sergio Ercole

12pm - 12.20pm Sam Lemann, Pete Fidler, Dean Addison

2pm - 2.20pm Sergio Ercole, Lucas Michailidis

3pm - 3.20pm Sam Lemann, Justin Bernasconi,

Pete Fidler, Dean Addison


Classical Guitar Society of Victoria

We are excited to collaborate with the Classical Guitar Society of Victoria again this year who will stage a series of classical guitar concerts and workshops.


There will be classical guitar performances throughout the weekend of the festival in the salon (stage two). Concerts will feature individual makers' guitars and will include solos, duets and ensembles by members of the Classical Guitar Society of Victoria. 


Highlights include:

Students from the Richmond Music Academy

The Johnston Brothers

The Guitar Orchestra of the CGSV


Saturday 10th October

10am - 11am Sophie Marcheff and Deniz Kaplan

11am - Paul Nash & players/Makers demo

12am - 1pm RMA Michael Avery & students

1pm Bill Sinclair & Glenn Lacco

2 - 3.30pm Evan Hopkins

3.30pm Chiara Paganini, Adam Shirley and Aldo Besmer

4.30 pm Julia Bakowski


Sunday 11th October

10 to 11am TBA

11 am - 12.30pm Paul Nash & Players/Makers demo

12.30 - 1.30pm Ziggy & Miles Johnston

1.30 - 2.00pm Classical Guitar Society of Victoria Guitar Orchestra

2pm Nicole Rogers & Rick Alexander

2.15 pm Christian Ewing

2.30pm Ben Dix, Linda Sukamta, Shaun Purkiss, Sammy B

3pm John Michailidis

3.15pm Shaun Purkiss, David Boddington

3.45pm Magical Bill & Accomplice

4pm Bergy Guitas Ensemble, Rod Tasker, Shaun Purkiss, Sammy Breve



Justin Bernasconi performs highly original tunes, infused with exciting, tasteful acoustic guitar playing with influences ranging across folk, bluegrass, ragtime and blues.

Though born in London, Justin was raised in Warboys, a small Cambridgeshire village famed for Witches and Lancaster Bombers. He arrived in Australia in 2004 and formed alt country group The Stillsons, with Cat Canteri and Ben Franz, in 2006. The band has released three albums, with their latest ‘Never Go Your way’ voted "Country Album of 2013" by Rhythms readers poll.

2014 saw the release of Bernasconi’s debut solo album ‘Winter Pick’, recorded and produced by Jeff Lang in Melbourne, showcasing a considerable grasp of both British and American folk guitar styles. Taking inspiration from John Fahey, Doc Watson and Richard Thompson, the album has been described by Australian Guitar Magazine, as “a dexterous display of picking that does a stellar job of treading the fine line between guitar showboating and tasteful melodies… (Winter Pick) justifies his position as one of this country's most interesting acoustic guitar talents".

As Justin took ‘Winter Pick’ on the road with a twenty six date Australian national tour, the album was rewarded in international press, receiving glowing reviews: (4/5 stars) in R2 (Rock N Reel, UK); Guitar Techniques (UK); Maverick (UK); and Australian Guitar Magazine.

Justin intends to begin work on his follow up solo album in the new year, hopefully make his way back to the UK in late 2015 for a national tour.


Latin/classical guitarist Sergio Ercole was born in Florence, Italy, the second of five children.  His parents, Ivano and Laura, met in the summer of 1969 when Italian-born Laura checked into a hotel in Florence where Ivano was working as a concierge.  She pretended to be an American tourist so he would show her around and the rest is, of course, history.

Sergio spent his early years in the Tuscan city before the family moved to Melbourne in 1980 and it wasn’t long after arriving in Australia that he fell in love with the guitar.

“Music is another language I’ve learnt, just like English – a language I understand, like to speak and continue to learn about,” Sergio says.

Sergio is a true musician, and his love and passion for guitar has seen him explore a range of genres including pop, cabaret, rock, big band and acid jazz.

For the past decade Sergio has focused on Latin and classical genres.

In 2002, he released ‘Spirit of the Mediterranean’ – a Latin acoustic album recorded with his brother, Cosimo.  ‘Chitarra Mia’ came next, a solo interpretation of Spanish classical works.

In 2004, Sergio also completed a Masters of Music (Honours) at Melbourne University – studying under  guitarists John Griffiths and taking Masterclasses with world-renowned John Williams and Alirio Diaz.

He has spent a significant time abroad, studying and performing extensively throughout the Mediterranean including  Andalusia, Florence, Sienna, and the Adriatic Coast.

Sergio’s talents are well respected within the music industry with performers including The Cat Empire, Lief and Hollywood film writer and musician, Tim Davies, regularly inviting Sergio to collaborate with them on their albums and on stage. Most recently Sergio was asked to compose and perform the title track for Frank Lotito’s romantic comedy ‘Big Mamma’s Boy’.

His latest album of original material, La Dolce Chitarra , has just been released and the irreverent 11-song collection beautifully captures both his incredible classical proficiency and his clear love for his Italian musical heritage and culture.


The career of Lucas Michailidis spans more than 20 years. During this period, he has built and sustained a practice and profile, both in Australia and overseas, as composer and performer. His acoustic fingerstyle work is characterised by a musical lyricism, sophisticated counterpoint and resonant harmonic progressions underpinned by an extensive exploration of alternate tunings. His electric playing is sought after for its ingenuity, creativity and taste.

In May 2014, Lucas enjoyed a three week residence at the prestigious Guitar Program at UWM - conducting workshops and performing alongside the legendary Peter Lang. Whilst in Milwaukee, he met with CandyRat label director Rob Poland and a record deal ensued.  Laughing at the Thief  - a collection of work spanning a fifteen year period was released in November 2014. His two solo recordings, The Offering and Freshwater Road have garnered attention worldwide along withglowing reviews across Australia. He is a past winner of the Open Strings competition in Germany (2001) and has had his composition All Grown Up included in the Korean Fingerstyle compilation CD, My Love, My Guitar - The Best of Acoustic Guitar alongside guitarists Tommy Emmanuel and Pierre Bensusan in 2006. His music has been published by John Stropes in the US (Stropes Editions, Ltd.)  Mel Bay's Guitar Sessions along with Guitarist Australia magazine. Two of his compositions are presently included in the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) prescribed listed for contemporary / popular guitar.

Michailidis has also been a member of the ARIA award winning ensemble Zulya and The Children of the Underground since 2004. Performances as soloist and band member have extended to Europe, South Korea and the USA, along with all major cities and festivals around Australia, coinciding with regular appearances on State and National radio.

Michailidis was brought up on a healthy dose of Carlos Santana and George Benson and later acquired a taste for Pat Metheny, Pat Martino, Ed Bickert, Ed Gerhard, Michael Hedges, Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Steve Reich, Jimi Hendrix, Rickie Lee Jones and James Taylor. 

He is presently engaged as an ongoing instructor at the University of Melbourne and Melbourne Polytechnic.


Inspired by guitarists like Charlie Christian, Barney Kessel, Chet Atkins, Doc Watson and Ry Cooder, Sam has developed his own tasty, swinging style that see him in great demand by singers, songwriters and bandleaders of many styles. 

Based in Melbourne, Sam co-leads a band with vocalist Hetty Kate “The Irwell Street String Band” and have recently released their 2nd CD “1160pm”. 

Sam has been a regular visitor to Hawaii in recent years, studying with Slack-Key guitar guru Cyril Pahinui and many great Ukulele players. This has lead to recording several tracks for the 2011 ABC release, “The Ukulele”.