Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

THE stages are gone, the rides packed up and the or­gan­is­ers un­der­stand­ably ex­hausted but many are still talk­ing about the 2015 Whit­sun­day Reef Fes­ti­val.

Whit­sun­day Reef Fes­ti­val com­mit­tee chair­woman Margie Mur­phy said all the months of blood, sweat and tears had been worth it.

“It was a huge suc­cess. Ev­ery­one loved the mall vibe in the main street,” she said.

With the fes­ti­val grow­ing ever-larger, Ms Mur­phy said it was reach­ing what she called a “tip­ping point”.

“It’s grown to such a level that it’s sort of gone be­yond a vol­un­teer sit­u­a­tion,” she said.

Lo­gis­tics and oper­a­tions man­ager Steve McDon­ald, from Beach Mu­sic, said the fes­ti­val did great things for the town.

“The town as a whole ben­e­fits greatly from the in­flux of peo­ple and the gen­eral sense of ex­cite­ment that the fes­ti­val brings in,” he said.

With the dust only just start­ing to set­tle from the 2015 event, Mr McDon­ald said 2016 was al­ready be­ing con­sid­ered.

“We’ll be de­brief­ing next week and putting things in place for the com­ing year,” he said.

The 11-year fes­ti­val vet­eran com­mended the vol­un­teers for their ef­forts.

“We have a small and ded­i­cated group of vol­un­teers and it’s re­ally all just pulled to­gether by Margie, who does an ex­treme amount of work in her own time to make it hap­pen,” he said.

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Leane Dun­can, Re­becca Ross, An­nie Grunwald, Lisa Stockow, Steve McDon­ald, Lisa Mul­vi­hill, Ellen Kerr and Margie Mur­phy at the La­goon Race Day on Sun­day.

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