Deniliquin Pastoral Times

MUSTER FANS JUMP ON­LINE

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There was less dust fly­ing, fewer grunt­ing utes and no loud mu­sic waft­ing over the Conargo plains, but the week­end’s vir­tual Deni Ute Muster still gar­nered the same en­thu­si­asm.

Muster fans jumped on­line in their thou­sands to tune in to livestream­ed events and to see if they had won one of the hourly prize give­aways which ran from 8am to 6pm on Satur­day.

There were 1725 peo­ple pre-reg­is­tered for the vir­tual sin­glet muster, and 1451 for the vir­tual ute count.

While a far cry from the stand­ing Guin­ness World Record counts of 3972 (2019) and 9736 (2013) re­spec­tively, gen­eral man­ager Vicky Lowry said the week­end was still a great suc­cess.

And she said the num­bers could have been far higher had there been more time for peo­ple to reg­is­ter.

‘‘It was only three weeks ago that we de­cided we had to do some­thing to still make the week­end spe­cial,’’ Mrs Lowry said.

‘‘A lot of our fans did not ac­tu­ally re­alise that they had to reg­is­ter by the Wed­nes­day be­fore to be in­volved in the counts, so we did get far more peo­ple in­quir­ing about how to en­ter af­ter that.

‘‘We did re­ceive a lot of mes­sages and photos dur­ing the week­end too, of peo­ple show­ing us how they were cel­e­brat­ing their Ute Muster week­end.

‘‘Quite a few of them showed peo­ple in their own back­yards with their utes and their blue sin­glets on.

‘‘It was great. We al­ready know what the Ute Muster means to so many peo­ple so­cially and in terms of their men­tal health, and so those mes­sages made us feel that ev­ery­thing we do is for a great pur­pose.’’

Mrs Lowry said a num­ber of lo­cals also got in to the spirit of the vir­tual week­end, with quite a num­ber vis­it­ing Muster HQ on

Fri­day to stock up on their 2020 Ute Muster mer­chan­dise.

‘‘There was a very big void on the week­end not only for us staff, but for ev­ery­one.

‘‘Quite a few of the lo­cals who came in Fri­day said they would nor­mally be vol­un­teer­ing and very busy.’’

The week­end kicked off with the stream­ing of a muster mer­chan­dise fash­ion pa­rade on Fri­day evening, which Mrs Lowry said was watched by in ex­cess of 10,000 peo­ple.

‘‘It was well and truly all worth it, and our staff will be pack­ing up mer­chan­dise to send off for at least the next week.’’

The vir­tual muster ended with an ex­clu­sive per­for­mance from Deni Ute Muster favourite John Wil­liamson on Satur­day evening.

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 ??  ?? ■ John Wil­liamson per­formed just for muster fans on Satur­day.
■ John Wil­liamson per­formed just for muster fans on Satur­day.

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