Sweet taste of success
Finley Bakery and Patisserie’s Micka Littlejohn shows off his special Strawberry Fields 10-year anniversary cake to Courtney Clarke, also known as CC:DISCO!. The former Cobram girl turned international DJ was among those performing at the festival. This year’s festival was at a new site on Tuppal Rd with river frontage and beach swimming access — used by the festival-goers during the warm days.
The Strawberry Fields Music Festival has injected tens of thousands of dollars in to the local community this year.
Tocumwal Chamber of Commerce president Sergio Redegalli’s conservative estimate was $35 000 was spent just feeding the patrons of the fourday event at the community barbecue.
Money raised at the barbecue will now be donated back to local projects.
Mr Redegalli said more was spent at local businesses by those attending the festival — a sold-out crowd of 8000 people.
He was overwhelmed by this year’s festival and the growing involvement in the festival by the local community.
‘‘It was massive. The community spirit in the scores of volunteers who helped with our community barbecue was just incredible,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ve learnt a lot how we can make it bigger and better next year.’’
Patrons created the perfect festival atmosphere as the fourday festival celebrated its 10th anniversary and its seventh in Tocumwal.
The biggest visitor drawcard for the southern Riverina region, it attracted internationally renowned DJs and bands.
This year’s festival was at a new site on Tuppal Rd with river frontage and beach swimming access — used by the festival-goers during the warm days.
The atmosphere and arts were constant, with the trees providing the perfect canvas for the art electronically projected towards the darkened leaves at night.
The festival-goers created the mix of relaxation and lively atmosphere, dancing for hours to the music or checking out the market and food stalls.
Internationally renowned, Strawberry Fields lived up to its reputation with hundreds from across the globe travelling to Tocumwal just for the event.
A community barbecue called Chillin’ ‘n’ Grillin’, operated throughout the event thanks to 100 Berrigan Shire volunteers of all ages.
It was built, organised and run by Tocumwal Chamber of Commerce, Finley Chamber of Commerce, Berrigan War Memorial Pool Committee and other local volunteers.
All money raised from the event will be donated back to the groups.
Strawberry Fields festival directors Tara Benney, Elliot Rothfield and Billy Staughton thanked the Tocumwal community, local landowners, and the traditional owners of the land.
‘‘We understand that creating a weekend-long event that quadruples the population of the local town can create quite a stir, but we are committed to doing everything within our power to make sure that impact is a positive one,’’ Ms Benney said on behalf of the team.
‘‘We are so grateful for the community’s positive support and collaborative efforts by locals.
‘‘To meet, engage with, talk with and share a meal with locals of all ages at the community barbecue open night (on Wednesday) was quite special.
‘‘The Chillin’ ‘n’ Grillin’ community barbecue was a huge hit, with an expected tens of thousands of dollars raised.
‘‘Handing out thousands of fresh strawberries on Sunday while we cut our birthday cake on the main stage in front of thousands of patrons was a lifetime highlight.’’
Ms Benny said as an extra thanks, organisers specifically planned for the birthday cake event to have a local flavour.
‘‘Not only is CC:DISCO! — the DJ playing at the time — originally a Cobram girl (Courtney Clarke), but we had the cake custom made by the Finley Bakery and Patisserie,’’ she said.
A new addition to the festivities this year was the Saturday night Riverbank community concert on the Tocumwal foreshore for the wider community.
The free family-friendly event attracted about 500 people.
On stage: Honey Dijon wowed audiences at the main stage on the Sunday.
On song: Jayda D turns on the style at the beach stage.