Fes­ti­val to draw 10,000 pa­trons

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News - BY SARAH SCULLY

Ararat Ru­ral City busi­nesses and com­mu­nity groups are set to ben­e­fit from an in­flux of about 10,000 peo­ple flock­ing to the re­gion for a four-day mu­sic fes­ti­val at Mafek­ing, near Moys­ton.

Ararat mayor Glenda Mclean said Pitch Mu­sic Fes­ti­val, now in its sec­ond year, would not only pro­vide a sig­nif­i­cant fi­nan­cial in­jec­tion, it would also show­case the wider re­gion to in­ter­na­tional and in­ter­state vis­i­tors.

“Given the fes­ti­val’s lo­ca­tion at the foothills of the Grampians, it is also great ex­po­sure for not only our mu­nic­i­pal­ity, but neigh­bour­ing North­ern Grampians Shire,” she said.

“It is great ex­po­sure for the whole re­gion.”

The Ararat coun­cil ap­proved a fiveyear plan­ning per­mit for the elec­tronic mu­sic fes­ti­val in Novem­ber last year.

“We’re ab­so­lutely thrilled Pitch Mu­sic Fes­ti­val is go­ing to have a five-year con­tract to de­liver a high-qual­ity festi- val in that lo­ca­tion near Moys­ton,” Cr Mclean said.

“We’ve worked re­ally closely with the or­gan­is­ers, both in 2017 and 2018 and fol­low­ing the suc­cess of last year’s fes­ti­val we’re look­ing forward to con­tin­u­ing our re­la­tion­ship with them.

“It has been an ex­haus­tive process and we’ve looked at ev­ery­thing from fire safety to crowd con­trol to road ac­cess. There will be emer­gency ser­vices peo­ple on hand and Pitch or­gan­is­ers will mon­i­tor crowd be­hav­iour. Ev­ery box has been ticked.”

Cr Mclean said the coun­cil’s eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment team had been busy visiting Ararat busi­nesses to en­sure own­ers and staff were pre­pared for in­creased ac­tiv­ity.

“Last year they sold out of so many prod­ucts in lo­cal stores, so we want to make sure they are pre­pared this year,” she said.

“Last year’s fes­ti­val at­tracted 7000 peo­ple and this year they are ex­pect- ing up to 10,000, so we want to make sure they are aware of the in­crease.”

Cr Mclean said com­mu­nity groups and ser­vice clubs would again ben­e­fit from this year’s event.

“A lot of the groups in Moys­ton and Wil­laura made more money from the fes­ti­val than they do fundrais­ing for the rest of the year,” she said.

Pitch Mu­sic Fes­ti­val direc­tor Daniel Teuma said or­gan­is­ers wanted to in­volve neigh­bour­ing com­mu­ni­ties as much as pos­si­ble.

“All the money gen­er­ated by com­mu­nity groups goes back to those groups,” he said.

“We en­gage the lo­cal foot­ball, cricket and Lions clubs to cook break­fast, lunch and dinner for our work crew for three weeks.

“They will also run a com­mu­nity bar­be­cue at the event. Last year they took in $30,000, although I’m not sure how much was profit, it is still a sig­nif­i­cant amount of money and a great op­por­tu­nity.”

Mr Teuma said com­mu­nity mem­bers in­volved in last year’s fes­ti­val had thrown their sup­port be­hind a fiveyear push for the event.

“Last year there was a bit of re­sis­tance be­cause peo­ple didn’t want ‘doof’ in their back yard, but we had no re­sis­tance this year,” he said.

“We re­ceived 40 let­ters of sup­port from the com­mu­nity.”

Range of acts

This year’s mu­si­cal line-up fea­tures a range of in­ter­na­tional and Aus­tralian acts ‘at the praxis of elec­tronic mu­sic’.

“There will also be respite ar­eas and art dis­plays, along with yoga and in­ter­ac­tive work­shops,” Mr Teuma said.

“We’ll have about 25 food trucks serv­ing amaz­ing food and there will be a chil­dren’s area. We’re ex­pect­ing about 70 to 80 chil­dren to be there.”

Gen­eral ad­mis­sion tick­ets have sold out, how­ever there are still some two­day and three-day tick­ets avail­able.

Pitch Mu­sic Fes­ti­val at­tracts pa­trons from across the world.

Mr Teuma said about 10 to 15 per­cent of tick­ets were bought by peo­ple in Asia, North Amer­ica, South Amer­ica, Europe and the UK.

A lit­tle more than 15 per­cent of pa­trons will travel from in­ter­state to at­tend.

Mr Teuma said based on last year’s ac­tiv­ity, the fes­ti­val would act as a jumping off point to tour the wider re­gion.

“We found last year that peo­ple would tag Pitch fes­ti­val on Instagram dur­ing a visit to the Grampians, af­ter the event,” he said.

“Through­out the fes­ti­val and sur­round­ing days we’ll do a few so­cial me­dia posts to pro­mote the area.

“Peo­ple who are trav­el­ling from in­ter­state or over­seas will want to spend time ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the re­gion.”

Pitch Mu­sic Fes­ti­val runs from Fri­day to Mon­day.

Peo­ple can search pitch­fes­ti­val.com. au or Pitch Mu­sic & Arts on Face­book for more informatio­n.

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