Deniliquin Pastoral Times
MUSTER FANS JUMP ONLINE
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.