A HITCH To The Sticks has pulled out all the stops to sign up The Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band.
Announcing the latest addition to the festival line-up on Friday morning, organisers said they had responded to a petition by the people of Wangaratta in August to sign the 1970s cult act.
Wangaratta-bred Australian rock legend and co-festival director Dallas Frasca said organisers went to great lengths to secure the band.
"There was no Facebook page for the band any more," she said.
"I could have been a forensic scientist in the way I had to trace them.
"It will be the famous Mic Conway and his band; I feel the community will be excited about that."
The Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band, also known as Soapbox Circus or Matchbox, were an Australian jug band formed in 1969. Mic Conway (Captain Matchbox) was on lead vocals, washboard and ukulele with his brother, Jim, on harmonica, kazoo and vocals. They issued four studio albums, Smoke Dreams (June 1973), Wangaratta Wahine (1974), Australia (November 1975) and Slightly Troppo (1978), before they disbanded in September 1980. The Conway brothers reformed the group in 2010 as Captain Matchbox Reignited and disbanded again two years later.
Returning to Wangaratta on November 1 to 3, A Hitch To The Sticks will also bring Tex Perkins and His Fat Rubber Band, Magic Dirt, Stonefield, Ella Hooper, Dallas Crane, Bachelor Girl, Cookin' On 3 Burners, Davidson Brothers and Emilee South.
Frasca joined forces with Renee Delahunty to offer the first two installments of A Hitch To The Sticks in 2018.
They wanted to bring city and regional punters together for a celebration of live music that embraced regional history, local artists and produce, indigenous culture and unique event spaces while using Wangaratta's spectacular country landscape as its backdrop.
A Hitch To The Sticks launched the out-of-the-box concept of offering 50 people a once in a lifetime experience to travel from Melbourne on a three-day musical bus safari.
"VIP passengers will have exclusive access to secret locations, celebrity hitchhikers, singalongs and maybe even the adventure of your life," Frasca said.
"Fifty per cent of the bus tickets to the 2019 Hitch To The Sticks Festival have sold so you best get in quick."
The festival offers nine events over the weekend; six VIP events are exclusive to bus ticket holders.