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Blues fans need accommodation

Deniliquin Blues & Roots Festival tickets are lower than expected because of a lack of accommodation, according to organisers.

ZOE MCMAUGH December 6, 2013 4:38am

A lack of accommodation options is limiting next year’s Deniliquin Blues & Roots Festival from surpassing 2013 crowd numbers.

Play on the Plains Festival chair Harold Clapham said ticket sales were on par with last year’s event, but could be much better if some accommodation could be freed up.

He said an inability to book accommodation for those who don’t want to camp at the festival site was holding back ticket sales.

He said the community must work together to ensure more people are able to attend the Easter music festival.

‘‘Inquiry and interest in next year’s event is definitely much higher than this time last year, and it is genuine interest and intent, but a serious issue is the accommodation,’’ Mr Clapham said.

‘‘Much of the major accommodation is booked out.

‘‘The reality is that while a large majority of the demographic of the event do like to camp, there are others for who the prosect of camping is not where they want to be.

‘‘The fact we also have no regular bus service from Mathoura or Echuca is also an issue we need to look at. We desperately need help from the community.’’

Mr Clapham is encouraging local residents to consider billeting a room or, if they will be away over Easter, renting their entire house to Blues Festival visitors.

He said community groups or organisations with a venue may also be able to assist in housing festival goers.

‘‘We need a lot of beds at Easter, and a home-stay system might be the answer,’’ he said.

‘‘People will be compensated and we could even include a bond system.

‘‘We also need support from the local pubs and organisations with venues – I’m sure people would be happy to stay at the boat club for example – and there is a revenue opportunity there.

‘‘This event has such a great upside for the community.’’

The 2014 Deniliquin Blues & Roots Festival will feature 24 artists over two days.

They include international and home-grown headliners like John Mayer, Elvis Costello & The Imposters and Michael Franti & Spearhead on the Saturday, and The Doobie Brothers, Boz Scaggs and Steve Earle & The Dukes on Sunday.

Two-day and Saturday or Sunday-only tickets are now available, and there are also family tickets for two adults and two children.

Deni Blues & Roots Festival has also introduced a new ‘Time to Pay’ program allowing ticket buyers to pay off their ticket.

They can be paid in three instalments of $73 each if booked before January 15, 2014.

The ‘Time to Pay’ option can only be ordered via internet bookings made through the Deni Blues & Roots Festival website.

For further information on tickets, artists or the event itself, go to www.denibluesfestival.com.au.

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