Sunraysia is once again preparing to embrace an event acknowledged as one of the single biggest economic drivers of the year on our major events calendar – the Mildura Country Music Festival.
This iconic event has been going for more than 30 years and will this year run from 27 September to 6 October.
Councillor for Economic Development and Tourism Mark Eckel said this year’s event would likely be the last under its current format, providing a chance to not only reflect on its amazing success, but future opportunities.
“It’s important to acknowledge and thank Mildura Country Music Festival coordinator John Arnold, and other significant contributors including co-founder Max Thorburn, for the enormous amount of time, hard work and passion they’ve put into this event,” Cr Eckel said.
“Their contribution to the tourism profile and economy of our region through the festival is certainly something to be proud of and has provided an economic boost for our community of almost $100 million throughout the 33-year life of the event.”
Cr Eckel called on the Sunraysia community to welcome the thousands of visitors expected to descend on the region in coming weeks for the final festival in its current guise, while encouraging any new groups or individuals interested in taking it on.
“This year will be something very special, as it’s a chance to celebrate the end of a spectacularly successful era,” he said.
“Council has been a long-time supporter of this event through our Events Funding and Support Grants program. We will continue to provide support and advice to any organisation or individual interested in taking this event in a new direction, ensuring we don’t lose the multimillion dollar benefit it brings to our region each year.”
“It’s critical that any new group or individual has succession planning in mind, not only to ensure its long-term viability, but to make sure their event continues to evolve.
Cr Eckel said this year’s event coincided with the release of Council’s Draft Event Strategy 2025, which has a focus on hallmark events like the Mildura Country Music Festival.
“Our new draft strategy aims to capitalise on the iconic events our region is already known for and build on this momentum to position our municipality as a major event destination, boasting a year-round calendar of events,” he said.
“Whether it’s a new major event concept, or revamping the existing Mildura Country Music Festival, we’d encourage event organisers to take the time to view our draft strategy or contact our Events and Projects Unit to discuss their ideas.”
The Draft Event Strategy 2025 is currently available at Council’s Madden and Deakin Avenue Service Centres, the Mildura Library and on Council’s Have Your Say page at www.mildura.vic.gov.au/HaveYourSay. Residents or groups wishing to provide feedback have until Wednesday 25 September 2019.