Rochester will join in on Tasmanian-based festival Mural Fest Sheffield festivities next year.By Elaine Cooney
Rochester is gearing up to be the only Victorian town to take part in the Mural Fest Sheffield in Tasmania next year.
Committee 4 Rochester project officer Graeme Robertson signed an exclusive deal with the Sheffield International Mural Fest chair Des Brown last week.
The $1000 deal allows Rochester to be the only Victorian town with the right to use the festival’s logo as well as paint and advice from the committee.
The festival, which will take place in late 2014, consists of top artists being chosen to create murals which will be displayed in one central location for a year.
They will compete for a cash prize.
In Sheffield, the first prize is $15,000.
When the year is up, the murals are moved to prominent spots around the town.
New artists then create more murals and the cycle continues.
Mr Robertson said he had been in discussions with Mr Brown for several months to find out what the small town of Sheffield, with a population of 1397, gained from the festival.
‘‘Sheffield was a small town on the way to the Cradle Mountains, so had a high volume of traffic going through it,’’ he said.
Mr Robertson said the town wanted to capture some passing traffic so created a mural festival.
‘‘Rochester is in a similar situation, with a lot of traffic going through on the way to Echuca,’’ he said.
C4R thought the festival was an ideal way to get visitors to stop on the week of the festival and throughout the year.
He said the 100-year-old Mural Fest Sheffield attracted 8000 visitors during the event and 180,000 in a year.
‘‘Visitors to Mural Fest will also visit other attractions in the municipality, stay in local accommodation and frequent local dining establishments,’’ he said.
Mr Robertson said the competition provided artists with an opportunity for personal growth and to showcase their talent.
He said C4R would seek the support of Campaspe Shire Council to source funds for the festival.
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