“My mum took me to Woodstock and I had to leave her at the helicopter. They said no, no mums sorry.”
This year’s Port Fairy Folk Festival celebrates 50 years since Woodstock and features a woman who may have one of the best music stories of all time.
Melanie was dropped off at Woodstock by her mum before waiting backstage for her performance.
“So I went by myself and waited the whole day,” Melanie said.
“Every so often someone would come up and say ‘you’re on next’ and then they would say ‘never mind’.”
Melanie said she sat in “terror” before her performance of Beautiful People.
“I was very inexperienced. The biggest show I’d done was 500 people at a university,” she said.
“I’d say two per cent of the crowd, 500,000 people, had ever heard Beautiful People.”
Melanie said she ended up at Woodstock because she and her husband had an office in the same building as people organising the festival.
She said she had an out of body experience before playing to a crowd waving candles and cigarette lighters as she sung Beautiful People.
“From then on people would bring lighters or candles to my concerts,” she said.
Melanie’s experience at Woodstock inspired her famous song Lay Down (Candles in the Rain). She said she was excited to play the song during her first performance at the Port Fairy Folk Festival.
“I’m looking to do a rousing chorus of Lay Down,” she said.
She said fans had asked her for decades if she would play at Port Fairy and she was thrilled to make it happen.
Melanie said she would love to stay in Port Fairy beyond the folk festival.
“Yes, I’d love to,” she said.
“I’ve been invited by different people on Facebook.
“I might take some of them up on it.”
Melanie said the Port Fairy audience could expect to hear some of her classics as well as some new songs.
“I’m a musician, I’m an artist, I keep creating things,” she said.
The Nashville-based musician will play two performances and will also participate in the Fairy Tale of Port Fairy Woodstock special event. The folk festival is from March 8 to 11.