SATURDAY’S Boolarra Folk Festival was a triumph, with thousands of people flocking to the tiny town.
Organiser Ray Stewart said last year’s event was a disappointment, with a 36mm deluge driving many away. Surprisingly, though, many brave souls were still there, drawn by the allure of top class acts, great food, stalls and the myriad other activities on offer.
But this year everyone was there. Or that’s the way it seemed, at least, as people packed into ever little part of the town and the iconic Centenary Park.
“I think people were really looking forward to this one and the weather was about right for an outdoor event,” Mr Stewart said.
“This is a big crowd. Who knows how many we’ve got here. I reckon this as many as I’ve seen before.”
Mr Stewart said the great music was a big crowd puller, with the renowned Stiletto Sisters, Matt Katis & The India Black, Karavana Flamenca and the Dukes of Despair just some amongst a host of performers.
Mr Stewart, ever working, was carrying around a transparent guitar as a money box, with a sign on it that said: “Donations to help keep the event free”.
It’s a cause that is close to his heart. And many others, for it was crammed with money.
“To have an event that is free is very unusual. I don’t think there’s enough free live music around. I think if we can do it here then other people can do it,” he said.
“You’ve got to work hard to do it and it certainly doesn’t come easily. We rely heavily on our sponsors. But once you get that momentum and the sponsors realise it’s a good event and well-organised, they’re happy to put money into it.”
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