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Final Horsham Country Music Festival set to be biggest, best

INTO COUNTRY: Cynthia and Tony Lawrance of Horsham will be among performers at the final Horsham Country Music Festival.Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

INTO COUNTRY: Cynthia and Tony Lawrance of Horsham will be among performers at the final Horsham Country Music Festival.Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

By DEAN LAWSON
Fans from across the region and beyond are set to stream into Horsham next week for what looms as the biggest Horsham Country Music Festival in the event’s 12-year history.
Festival co-ordinator Lyall Wheaton said news that the festival would be Horsham Country Music Association’s last had sparked enormous statewide and interstate interest.
He said organisers had, in response, ensured the best possible musical line-up to perform at the March 21 to 24 event.
“We’ve had calls from country-music fans from all over place, particularly from right across Victoria and South Australia,” he said.
“They all want to know what’s happening, who’s playing and generally how they can get the most from the experience.”
Mr Wheaton said expectations were that the festival would take a different shape to other years.
“We’re not sure if the main day on Saturday will be significantly larger as far as the crowd goes,” he said.
“But indications are that people are keen to take as much in as possible, which suggests a broad spread across many segments.
“This year has by far been our best artist line-up in the years we have been presenting the event.
“We have basically selected the best artists from the first 11 years.
“What that means is more people are going to be coming for all four days. We anticipate excellent crowds at all venues.
“We’ve made a concerted effort to invite the best possible artists and are determined to make sure the festival is a wonderful experience for patrons.
“The line-up includes artists from right across the country, including Queensland.”
Mr Wheaton said if patrons wanted to get the most from the festival they could start early and experience all four days of performances.
“It’s a big extended weekend and there’s a lot to soak up,” he said.
“There are many opportunities to pick and choose from or people can challenge themselves. It can be tiring but is always worth it.”
The festival format will be similar to other years, with ‘a few slight changes’ including a relaxed start on March 21 with walk-up performances from 3.30pm at Horsham Riverside Caravan Park.

Musical entertainment then ramps up at Horsham Soundshell in nearby Sawyer Park with an official welcome and a Bush Balladeers concert.
Friday entertainment represents perhaps the only major change with Wimmera artists shifting from a traditional venue at Roberts Place in Horsham’s shopping heart to festival headquarters at the soundshell.
Mr Wheaton said Wimmera performers would entertain from 10am to 3.30pm and pave the way for a 6.30pm start for a huge tribute night.
“The crowd will be amazed at how well performers pay tribute to some of the legends of country music. It is superb,” he said.
The festival reaches a crescendo on Saturday, starting with a popular busking competition at Horsham Plaza, featuring 18 buskers.
Mr Wheaton said the plaza would be overflowing with fans and it was a good idea for people to get there early.
“The busking competition is all about non-professionals, so people can expect fun, frivolity and a mix of talent,” he said.
“What’s wonderful about this is that it often unearths some amazing talent that can far exceed expectations and blow people away.”
Nine-hour concert
The busking event is the prelude to the ACE Radio Country Music Spectacular – a nine-hour concert featuring some of the best performers on the traditional country-music circuit.
“There is a wonderful mix of acts and it will be hard for patrons to not find something they would enjoy,” Mr Wheaton said.
The festival will push into Sunday, starting with a free Country and Bush Poet Walk Up at Wimmera Lakes Caravan Park before a Gospel Music Marathon from 11am, again at the soundshell.
The gospel event will lead into a festival finale from 1.30pm to 4pm, where many of the artists who have performed during the weekend will return for a big finish.
But it doesn’t end there. Sunday night dinner shows at Horsham RSL and Glen Logan and Toy’s Chinese restaurants will follow, shutting the final page on event.
Mr Wheaton said much of the event would shift to Wimmera Events Centre at Longerenong in the event of wet weather.

The entire March 13, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

Short URL: http://www.theweeklyadvertiser.com.au/?p=75082

Posted on Mar 13 2019

Posted by on Mar 13 2019. Filed under Arts Entertainment, FEATURED. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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