Chance to go be­hind the scenes of fes­ti­val

The Cobram Courier - - NEWS -

Straw­berry Fields Fes­ti­val or­gan­is­ers are invit­ing mem­bers of the lo­cal com­mu­nity to a bar­be­cue and tour of the fes­ti­val site next Wed­nes­day.

The tour will in­clude a be­hind-the-scenes look at the fes­ti­val grounds, with the mu­sic and arts pro­gram set to of­fi­cially start the fol­low­ing day.

Guests will have the chance to meet SFF direc­tors, who will lead a short tour and in­for­ma­tion ses­sion, while Tocumwal Cham­ber of Com­merce and Tourism will pro­vide a bar­be­cue for a small do­na­tion.

Tocumwal Cham­ber of Com­merce and Tourism pres­i­dent Ser­gio Rede­galli is en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple of all ages to visit the site to see the fes­ti­val’s ‘‘fan­tas­tic, world-class in­fra­struc­ture’’.

‘‘Peo­ple prob­a­bly think the fes­ti­val is just a few tents and stages, but the amount of pro­fes­sion­al­ism put into the in­fra­struc­ture is phe­nom­e­nal,’’ he said.

‘‘For those who’ve not been there, you can’t imag­ine the size of it, you re­ally need to see it to be­lieve it.’’

Most of the fes­ti­val’s in­fra­struc­ture will be on show dur­ing the site tour, in­clud­ing two main stages, the tea lounge and mar­ket area.

This year’s art pro­gram will show­case works from all over the world. It sees the re­turn of Mel­bourne cre­ative out­fit John Fish and the large-scale geo­met­ric art of Dy­lan Black­stone.

Straw­berry Fields Fes­ti­val di­rec­tor Tara Ben­ney said she was look­ing for­ward to show­ing the com­mu­nity what went on be­hind the scenes in or­der to run the event.

‘‘We re­ally want to give lo­cals who may not want to at­tend the actual fes­ti­val the chance to un­der­stand what it’s all about, and who the peo­ple be­hind it are, in a re­laxed en­vi­ron­ment,’’ she said.

Mr Rede­galli said re­gard­less of some peo­ple’s per­cep­tions about the an­nual fes­ti­val, the pos­i­tive im­pacts for the com­mu­nity could not be ig­nored.

‘‘From a busi­ness per­spec­tive the fes­ti­val is a mas­sive op­por­tu­nity for lo­cals to put their foot in the door and ac­cess the 6000 at­ten­dees who wouldn’t other­wise see their goods. And the con­struc­tion that hap­pens for the event, a huge per­cent­age of the ma­te­ri­als comes lo­cally,’’ he said.

‘‘There’s also the huge (in­ter­net) search en­gine rank­ing that Straw­berry Fields gives Tocumwal, the hash­tags on so­cial me­dia — that’s some­thing we would never be able to af­ford with Google.

‘‘It’s a win-win for our com­mu­nity.’’

Those in­ter­ested in at­tend­ing the in­for­ma­tion ses­sion and tour are asked to meet at the fes­ti­val site on Lower River Rd, about 10 km west of Tocumwal, at 5.30 pm. Gates close at 8pm.

For more in­for­ma­tion phone So­phie Burge on 0428 381 269 or Shaun Con­nor on 0488 123 270.

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