The Deniliquin Blues & Roots Festival has been locked in 'for a long, long time' thanks to a huge jump in crowd attendance over the Easter weekendMay 2, 2014 3:30am
The 2014 Deni Blues & Roots Festival has smashed last year’s crowd, with approximately 8000 people passing through the gates over the two-day event.
Chugg Entertainment project manager Nick Chugg said while official numbers had not been tallied it is believed around 8000 people attended the festival, which is now in its second year.
Mr Chugg said the success of this year’s event not only promises its return next year but ‘‘hopefully for a long, long time’’ to come.
Thousands of people flocked to the Deniliquin Ute Muster site on Conargo Rd on Saturday and Sunday to watch outstanding performances from renowned artists including Michael Franti, John Mayer, Elvis Costello & The Imposters and The Doobie Brothers.
Mr Chugg said aside from an incredible line-up, the huge jump in numbers can also be attributed to word of mouth from people who attended the 2013 event.
This year’s crowd obliterated Rob Potts’ (from Rob Potts Entertainment Edge) prediction last Wednesday that the festival would reach just over 5000 people, which was around the same as last year’s effort.
‘‘It was fantastic, all the acts were really happy and everything went really well,’’ Mr Chugg said.
‘‘We always hope the festival will out-do the year before but we never really know until it arrives. We’re really happy.
‘‘I think the increase in numbers had a lot to do with friends talking to friends and we’ve had a lot of media in Melbourne.’’
Mr Chugg said the highlight of the festival was livewire Michael Franti and his band Spearhead’s performance, with a bare-foot Franti forcing thousands of people to their feet with his unmistakable energy as the sun shone on Saturday afternoon.
‘‘Franti’s performance went down really well and we had so many great young bands like Jackson Firebird,’’ he said.
‘‘With the response from Deniliquin and surrounding communities we will definitely be back.
‘‘I would like to say a big thankyou to everyone in Deniliquin. The volunteers and staff put in a tremendous effort.’’
The festival joined a list of events held in Deniliquin over the Easter weekend.
Thousands of people packed the town’s streets with more than 600 people recorded through the Peppin Heritage Centre’s doors on Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Sunday and up until 10am yesterday.
Mayor Lindsay Renwick, speaking personally, said it was the best Easter he has ever had in Deniliquin.
‘‘Of all the times I’ve had at Easter this is by far the highlight of all,’’ he said.
‘‘It will take some topping . . . there were 300 people on Warbreccan beach (at the weekend) having a wonderful time when I spoke to them.’’
Cr Renwick said the festival boasted quality entertainment that other towns would be ‘‘envious’’ of.
‘‘It was brilliant. I loved it . . . you can get up so close to these people — that’s the bonus of outdoor venues, you feel like you can touch them.
‘‘I spoke to lots of people out of town who said they will be back and will bring mates who didn’t come.’’
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