Mas­sive muster, but records stand

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS -

All roads led to De­niliquin for the 20th birth­day Ute Muster on Fri­day and Satur­day, as it at­tracted about 18,000 peo­ple to the Conargo Rd site.

The num­bers were boosted by in­ter­na­tional su­per­star Car­rie Un­der­wood, who was the head­liner on Satur­day night in her only full con­cert per­for­mance while in Aus­tralia.

Muster gen­eral man­ager Vicky Lowry said the vast ma­jor­ity of Muster-go­ers made their way to De­niliquin early this year, show­ing just how keen they were for the big event.

‘‘We had 11,000 peo­ple come through the gates on Thurs­day, which we were over­whelmed by,’’ Mrs Lowry said.

‘‘We’ve re­ceived so many pos­i­tive com­ments, but one neg­a­tive was the time it took to get in the gates (on Thurs­day).

‘‘Safety is the big pri­or­ity for us, and it does take time to search the utes and make sure there’s noth­ing com­ing in that will jeop­ar­dise that safety.

‘‘We also saw so many more fam­i­lies com­ing this year, and peo­ple with car­a­vans, so that took a bit of ex­tra time to search.

‘‘We will be look­ing at ways to make that bet­ter for next year, be­cause be­ing our 21st we do think it will be an­other big one.

‘‘This year was a big week­end and a lot of fun, and plan­ning is al­ready un­der­way for next year.’’

The Deni Ute Muster is a cel­e­bra­tion of con­tem­po­rary Aus­tralian ru­ral life where the ute is king.

And while the mu­sic was a high­light of the event, the Ute Muster is about so much more.

The Deni Ute Muster holds two Guin­ness World Records — for the most utes gathered in the one place and for its blue sin­glet count — but nei­ther could be top­pled this year de­spite great at­ten­dance.

The World Record Ute Count still stands at 9736 utes, which was recorded in 2013 when Amer­i­can coun­try mu­sic leg­end Alan Jack­son head­lined at the event.

This year’s count of just over 7000 is still up there among the best though, hav­ing only been beaten in 2013, 2010 and 2008.

This year’s Blue Sin­gle Count was an im­pres­sive 2998, but not quite enough to re­place the record of 3959.

But the crowd sure had a fun time while at­tempt­ing to beat the 2015 sin­glet record.

This year’s Ute Muster was an Aussie ex­trav­a­ganza in­clud­ing wood chop­ping and whip crack­ing demon­stra­tions, the Bull Ride Spec­tac­u­lar, Bro­phy Bros Cir­cus, Bob the Butcher, Peter Hodge Camel Rides, World Cham­pion Sand Sculp­tor Den­nis Mas­soud, the Aus­tralian Ride on Lawn Mower Rac­ing As­so­ci­a­tion’s Lawn Mower Races and the Shi­mano Fish­ing Tank Show.

The Muster in­tro­duced Speed Dat­ing for the first time, thanks to this year’s char­ity part­ner Can As­sist, with close to 200 at­ten­dees look­ing for love, or at least a new friend, on Thurs­day and Fri­day.

The 2018 ‘ The Batch­e­lor’ Nick ‘ Honey Badger’ Cum­mins dropped in on Fri­day where he held court in the Iron Jack Bar and met many new ‘ friends’ as he wan­dered around the site. He was also a guest speaker at the an­nual chair­man’s re­cep­tion. Pre­sented as a com­mu­nity ser­vice by South­ern Rive­rina Sui­cide Preven­tion Re­source Group and the South­ern Rive­rina News

This year’s Blue Sin­glet Count saw 2998 muster go­ers at­tempt to break the record.

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