Hit and miss with outdoor concert
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.