In its second year, the Riverboats Music Festival attracted a full house to Echuca Aquatic Reserve. Headline act Pete Murray finished the festivities with a concert on Sunday afternoon.By Ruth Clayton
It was a sell out at Echuca’s Riverboats Music Festival on Saturday night in just the second year of the event’s short history.
Producer David Frazer said it was an amazing feat for the fledgling festival.
‘‘(It) was as surprising as it was wonderful,’’ Mr Frazer said.
‘‘We thought that might have been something that would happen in a couple of years’ time.’’
Mr Frazer said it was great to see so many people get behind the festival, and although numbers had not yet been finalised, there were ‘‘significantly’’ more patrons compared with last year.
‘‘I know for a fact on Saturday we had 4500 people,’’ he said.
‘‘We had many, many people leaving with huge smiles on their faces and promising to return next year.’’
There were only 70 tickets left for yesterday’s concert.
Mr Frazer said he had heard reports of many people visiting Echuca for the first time at this year’s festival, which was one of the key objectives for organisers from the start.
He said the feedback from artists was also positive.
‘‘Everyone comments on the venue (saying), ‘What an incredible natural asset you’ve got here’,’’ Mr Frazer said.
Feedback from festival-goers proved James Reyne was a hit with the crowd, as well as Pete Murray.
Mr Frazer said he was honoured Mooroopna-born artist Archie Roach played at the festival.
‘‘It’s always so nice to know your audience is being introduced to music they would other not heard,’’ he said.
Mr Frazer said a difference between the festival and other festivals was the fact it was small-scale and fans and artists could meet.
‘‘Pete (Murray) was shaking hands and signing autographs and all manner of things,’’ he said.
‘‘I think that’s the wonderful difference with this event.’’
The producer said it was a 12-month operation putting together a line-up for the festival and there were already ‘‘a number of irons in the fire’’ for next year.
He said it was great to see so many families at the event and thanked the community for getting behind the it.
Mr Frazer recommended people book early for next year’s festival.
The Riverboats Music Festival was the result of a re-branding of the Jazz, Food and Wine Festival two years ago.
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