Re­turn­ing fes­ti­val a hit with hun­dreds flock­ing to event

Stanthorpe Border Post - - FRONT PAGE - Matthew Pur­cell Matthew.Pur­cell@bor­der­

OR­GAN­IS­ERS of the sec­ond Cash fes­ti­val knew they needed to step it up on Satur­day - and that they did.

Due to pop­u­lar de­mand, the fol­low up to the in­au­gu­ral Johnny Cash Coun­try Fes­ti­val re­turned to fan­fare and drew hun­dreds of peo­ple to town.

“It re­ally is ter­rific for Stan­thorpe and we can’t wait to bring it back in 2019,” or­gan­iser Brian Wil­mott said.

YEAR two is done and dusted and the or­gan­is­ers of the Johnny Cash Coun­try Fes­ti­val are count­ing the days un­til the third out­ing.

Crowds were up on last year’s event and en­ter­tain­ment was “big­ger and bet­ter” as promised.

The week­end started with Fri­day night’s cin­ema show­ings be­fore lead­ing into Satur­day morn­ing’s per­for­mances in the pi­azza.

The main event at the Stan­thorpe Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre kicked into gear from 3pm and fes­ti­val or­gan­iser Brian Wil­mott said he thought crowds were marginally up on last year.

“It was a big suc­cess. We had well over 600 peo­ple so we’re quite happy with that,” Mr Wil­mott said.

The week­end has be­come a big draw­card for Stan­thorpe and Mr Wil­mott said it was do­ing won­ders for tourism.

“In­ter­est­ingly, quite a lot of the crowd were out-oftown­ers. We prob­a­bly had fewer lo­cals this time though. It’s good be­cause the out-of-town­ers, ev­ery­one loved it, all the acts went over quite well.

“The peo­ple I talked to, ev­ery­one en­joyed it very much and now they’ll go back to where they came from and talk to oth­ers about it,” he said.

Head­liner Dale Hooper was joined by the Leg­ends of the Opre, The Su­gar­shak­ers and Heart­worn High­way for a stacked bill of Cash clas­sics, orig­i­nal ma­te­rial and a lit­tle Wil­lie Nel­son thrown in the mix.

“Again, the high­light was Dale Hooper. They were all good, well bal­anced per­for­mances,” Mr Wil­mott said.

Af­ter last year’s in­au­gu­ral event, Brian and his team of or­gan­is­ers worked be­hind the scenes to re­fine and im­prove for this year.

“We learned a lot from last year. We’re still go­ing and learn­ing. It will take three or four to re­ally nail ev­ery­thing down,” he said.

“What I think is the good thing is this year reaf­firmed our de­sire to do it as an an­nual thing.”

He has big plans for 2019, with hopes to lure one of Johnny Cash’s sons over to per­form.

“We’ll cer­tainly be in touch with John Carter Cash again. We do have the sup­port of the Cash fam­ily and I think that’s im­por­tant.”

He’s set out to make Cash what Elvis Pres­ley is to the NSW town of Parkes and Mr Wil­mott said he thinks they’re on their way.

“It re­ally is ter­rific for Stan­thorpe and we can’t wait to bring it back in 2019.”


STAR OF THE SHOW: Dale Hooper took to the main stage on Satur­day night for his ode to the Man In Black.

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