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What sort of crowd will Emerge?

Predicting a crowd number for the third Emerge at Twilight Festival is a tough ask.

JOHN LEWIS February 21, 2014 6:43am

Entertainers: Congolese dancers and choirs are among the performers who will take centre stage at this year's Emerge at Twilight Festival.


Audience numbers may be unpredictable because they just keep growing, but for this year’s Emerge at Twilight Festival one thing is certain — inspirational music and joyful celebration is guaranteed.

This year’s multicultural festival starts on Saturday next week and promises to be even bigger and brighter than the previous two years.

The festival is the official launch of the month-long SheppARTon Festival during next month.

Presented for the first time on a single large stage, and moving to the north end of Victoria Park Lake, Emerge 2014 features 14 acts gathered from the wide spectrum of Shepparton’s cultures.

From Indonesian singers, Congolese dancers and choirs, Indigenous performers, and Albanian folk artists, to friendly multicultural soccer games, theatre performances, exotic food and fireworks, the night is sure to attract a big audience. But exactly how big remains unknown.

Festival program manager and Greater Shepparton City Council Riverlinks manager Stephen Donnelly said the Emerge event had resulted in the audience growing five-fold since the first one in 2012.

‘‘Both years have blown us away. For the first one at Eastbank we expected about 400, but 800 people turned up.

‘‘So we moved it to the lake and we got 4500. So this year — who knows?’’ Mr Donnelly said.

He said for this year, Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE members were helping with food handling and there were more community groups involved.

‘‘More people are getting engaged and it has been really positive,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s for all our different groups — it’s a reflection of their cultures. So it’s very relevant for them,’’ he said.

Emerge at Twilight is presented by Greater Shepparton City Council, Word and Mouth and Multicultural Arts Victoria. It runs from 4pm to 10pm at Victoria Park Lake on Saturday, March 1. For more information, visit www.greatershepparton.com.au

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