Cloud hangs over Ord Val­ley muster

The West Australian - - NEWS - Krys­tal San­ders

One of Aus­tralia’s big­gest re­gional events is in jeop­ardy with the eleventh-hour de­par­ture of its event man­ager.

The Ar­gyle Di­a­monds Ord Val­ley Muster in the Kim­ber­ley is due to cel­e­brate its 18th year in May but will do so with­out long­time or­gan­iser Mellen Events.

Mellen Events, which has pro­duced the fes­ti­val for the past nine years, has failed to ne­go­ti­ate a deal for 2019 with the fes­ti­val’s board.

The event, which at­tracts tourists na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally, first be­gan with the Kim­ber­ley Moon Ex­pe­ri­ence, last year ex­pand­ing to 30 events over 10 days and at­tract­ing 15,000 at­ten­dees.

Fes­ti­val board chair­woman Narelle Brook said the two par­ties ran out of time af­ter a dis­agree­ment on how to run the event.

“We just couldn’t come to a fi­nal de­ci­sion on a com­mer­cial ar­range­ment that was go­ing to be ben­e­fi­cial to both,” she said. “Mellen, with a very heavy heart, came back to us given that the time frame was loom­ing for next year’s event — they came back and said they would not be able to go ahead.”

The Week­end West un­der­stands the event did not stack up com­mer­cially for Mellen, which is as­sist­ing with the tran­si­tion to the new event man­agers. “It’s all very am­i­ca­ble,” Ms Brook said.

With dates al­ready an­nounced for May 11 to May 20 and head­line acts not yet locked in for the fes­ti­val’s main concert, it casts doubt on whether the board can ap­point event or­gan­is­ers able to mo­bilise the in­fra­struc­ture, travel and staff in less than five months.

Ms Brook hopes the board will sign a new event partner in a “week or two”.

“We’ve got the ex­pres­sion of in­ter­est out there to a few peo­ple but we’ve got to get that out to oth­ers as well,” she said. “It is a tight time frame, but it can be done.

“We just have to hope we can get some­one on board to help give us that tech­no­log­i­cal hand to help us pull off the Ord Val­ley Muster and the Kim­ber­ley Moon Ex­pe­ri­ence.”

The Du­rack Din­ner at the Ord Val­ley Muster.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.