Hit and miss with out­door con­cert

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News - BY DEAN LAW­SON

Get­ting the ‘for­mula’ right will be the key for the or­gan­iser of last year’s in­au­gu­ral Horsham Rock­fest con­cert to bring any fu­ture big out­door shows to the Wim­mera.

David Storer of Mil­dura En­ter­tain­ment said he would have to se­ri­ously ex­am­ine ev­ery­thing from re­gional pop­u­la­tion and de­mo­graph­ics to sched­ul­ing and mu­sic gen­res to con­sider a re­turn.

He said while the Horsham event at Sawyer Park Sound­shell had been great for all who at­tended and the crowd ap­peared large and en­gaged, it strug­gled to be fi­nan­cially jus­ti­fi­able.

“Purely from a rock-con­cert per­spec­tive it was suc­cess­ful for Horsham – it was a great event and had a great at­mos­phere, there’s no doubt about that,” he said.

“But the re­al­ity was that con­sid­er­ing the cal­i­bre of en­ter­tain­ment on the bill it failed to at­tract enough pay­ing pa­trons.”

Mr Storer said when it came to busi­ness, an event like the Rock­fest could not af­ford to sim­ply break even or gen­er­ate a min­i­mal profit.

“It has to be fi­nan­cially worth­while and that comes pri­mar­ily through ticket sales,” he said.

The con­cert in­cluded con­tem­po­rary per­form­ers such as Shan­non Noll and Reece Mastin and iconic Aus­tralia rock acts The Choir­boys and The Chan­toozies.

Mr Storer said about 750 pay­ing pa­trons at­tended the Horsham Sound­shell event, but some pa­trons were con­fi­dent the crowd swelled well be­yond that fig­ure as the con­cert pro­gressed.

“The truth is, if I was giv­ing the Horsham district com­mu­nity what they wanted, more would have come,” he said.

“It is hard to get right, es­pe­cially in ar­eas of rel­a­tively small pop­u­la­tions. Is it rock, is it blues or other gen­res? Is it the time of year, what’s the best target age group? What­ever it is, we would have to get it right.

“Some sug­gested we might have had too many acts, but re­ally? It comes down to what Horsham district peo­ple want. There are other smaller re­gional towns at­tract­ing thou­sands of pa­trons to sim­i­lar events. This tells me with Horsham you need to hit the mark to get it right.

“When it comes to the fu­ture, at this stage for us it’s a case of wait and see.”

Horsham Rock­fest was the first ma­jor rock con­cert at Horsham Sound­shell for decades.

Mr Storer said he would be keen to get feed­back about what peo­ple wanted in out­door en­ter­tain­ment in Horsham.

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