Festival to rain visitors on drought-affected town
WITH only 16 days left to go, excitement is building in Tenterfield Shire as the community prepares for a festival that is set to significantly boost the region's economy.
Despite struggling with the most extreme drought it has seen in many years, the Tenterfield community is showing its strength and banding together to bring the second Peter Allen Festival to life.
Tenterfield Shire tourism officer Caitlin Reid said the town was gearing up for an even bigger event in 2019.
"It will not only be a celebration of the arts, but a show of solidarity and strength among residents.
"It has been an extremely challenging 12 months in Tenterfield Shire, with ongoing drought and, up until recently, having three of our National Parks closed due to fire, so a celebration that brings the community together is very much needed,” Ms Reid said.
She said last year's festival was a "huge success”, and of the 1,100 people who attended, council estimates around 870 of them came from out of town and stayed an average of 2.9 nights.
She said the statistics showed around 73 per cent of visitors stayed in some form of paid accommodation and over 81 per cent indicated that they would come to the festival again.
"Since last year, word has spread about the festival and we are expecting even bigger crowds this year,” Ms Reid said.
"There is a real buzz in town.
"We are getting a lot of interest and enquiries over social media and accommodation providers have seen a steady flow of bookings for the festival weekend. Some are already booked out.
"The momentum is really building.”
Ms Reid said event organisers have built on the inaugural festival, with this year seeing new music events, including the Livvy and Pete tribute show, and the Honest Through Her Song music night featuring female musicians from across the country.
She said organisers have also added a food and wine fair, gala awards night, kids corner and a 70s LA garden party.
"Despite the current climate, Tenterfield is seeing growth in business and investment, and the tourism industry is helping to support our small business community through this difficult period,” Ms Reid said.
"The Peter Allen Festival will further these efforts.”
Held in Tenterfield from September 5-8 September, the Peter Allen Festival pays tribute to the world famous entertainer who was born in the town.