Coun­try fes­ti­val fi­nale primed

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Plans are well un­der­way for a big year of coun­try mu­sic in Horsham, in­clud­ing next month’s ‘fi­nal’ Horsham Coun­try Mu­sic Fes­ti­val.

Horsham Coun­try Mu­sic As­so­ci­a­tion com­mit­tee mem­bers have been busy work­ing through the sched­ule, which also in­cludes sev­eral din­ner and morn­ing shows at Horsham RSL.

The mu­sic fes­ti­val, from March 21 to 24 and the sub­ject of con­sid­er­able be­hind-the-scenes dis­cus­sions and spec­u­la­tion, again looms as a ma­jor event in the Wim­mera.

Fes­ti­val co-or­di­na­tor Lyall Wheaton said ar­range­ments for this year’s show­case, the 12th in­stal­ment of the pop­u­lar event, were pro­gress­ing ‘ex­tremely’ well.

Mr Wheaton said in­ter­est in the 2019 fes­ti­val was high, with many long-term pa­trons dis­ap­pointed the event, which pro­vides sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic ben­e­fits to the district, would be the last un­der its cur­rent op­er­at­ing for­mat.

Mr Wheaton con­firmed that age and health had caught up with many com­mit­tee mem­bers and at­tempts to re­cruit new mem­bers had been un­suc­cess­ful.

But he added that pa­trons at­tend­ing this year’s fi­nal Horsham Coun­try Mu­sic Fes­ti­val will see the best line-up of artists that had per­formed in the event’s 12 years.

The artist line-up this year com­prises Laura Down­ing and Kiara Ro­drigues from Queens­land, Dwayne Elix, Peter Coad and the Coad Sis­ters, Brian Let­ton and Jo­hanna He­mara from New South Wales and Don Costa, Justin Stan­d­ley, Sandie Dodd, Trevor Keilar, Col Perkins and Lachie and Ge­or­gia Mc­gen­nisken from Vic­to­ria.

Mr Wheaton said a pop­u­lar ‘lo­cal artist’ seg­ment that had been in Roberts Place ev­ery year had to be re-lo­cated to Horsham Sound­shell be­cause Horsham Ru­ral City Coun­cil ceased pro­vid­ing the pop­u­lar ‘park­ing pass’.

“This would have meant pa­trons would have had to walk long dis­tances to ac­cess Roberts Place,” he said.

He said artists per­form­ing in the seg­ment this year in­cluded Ron Pan­nan from Na­timuk, Christine John­son, Stawell, Vanessa Warra, Hynes Re­serve, Robyn Nor­ton, Ser­vice­ton, John Butcher, War­rackn­abeal, San­dra Loats, Ru­pa­nyup, Leo Telef­son, Don­ald, Horsham’s 2 P’s, Voices of Wim­mera and Lawrence Coun­try.

The 2019 fes­ti­val starts with walk-up per­for­mances at Horsham’s River­side Car­a­van Park at 3.30pm on March 21. Bush Bal­lads at the sound­shell will be at 6.30pm.

Fri­day en­ter­tain­ment at the sound­shell fea­tures Wim­mera artists from 10am to 3.30pm fol­lowed at 6.30pm by a trib­ute night.

Satur­day morn­ing will fea­ture Horsham Plaza Busk­ing Com­pe­ti­tion from 9.30am.

The fes­ti­val will reach its zenith on Satur­day night with the ACE Ra­dio Coun­try Mu­sic Spec­tac­u­lar, fea­tur­ing nine hours of non-stop coun­try mu­sic from 1pm to 10pm.

Sun­day, the fi­nal day of the fes­ti­val, starts with walk-ups at 8.45am at Lake­side Car­a­van Park fol­lowed at 11am by a Gospel Mu­sic Marathon and fes­ti­val fi­nale at the sound­shell.

On the Sun­day night pa­trons have three choices of din­ner and shows at Horsham RSL, Toys Chi­nese Gar­den Restau­rant and Glen Lo­gan.

Peo­ple seek­ing fur­ther in­for­ma­tion can call Horsham Vis­i­tor In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre on 1800 633 218 or Mr Wheaton on 5381 1995.

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