Music festival is a boon to the region

Once again the continuing criticism of the Mildura Country Music Festival by Lorrelle Lee is factually incorrect. 

The festival committee had a signed contract to have the entertainment indoors at the Mildura Gateway Tavern. The new CEO at the Mildura Gateway Tavern called myself in, and advised that he was moving all of the shows outdoors.

We co-operate with all of the venues wishes, we are just providing them with the entertainment. 

The venues pay for the entertainment and it is their right to do as they wish. The festival committee was requested by the Mildura Airport CEO to provide entertainment on each day of the festival. 

The idea behind this request was to provide some entertainment to the travellers while waiting for their flight, with little financial gain to the airport. If other people wish to see those artists, yes, they have to comply with security checking, however they are able to see the same artists at many other venues.

I see this an act of goodwill for the travelling public by the airport, it’s just a pity more businesses in Mildura don’t give the same support.

If Ms Lee wants to talk about new blood, over 230 artists applied to be at the festival, a spot here is strongly sought after and we have 22 new artists at the festival this year. There are a variety of shows at over 26 venues.

The festival surveys are filled out by the visitors, not me, and confirms that the festival injected more than $4 million into our community last year. 

The visitors stayed an average of 10 nights and the festival had a visitor satisfaction rating of 96 per cent.

Ms Lee is welcome to call me to discuss her regular and unsubstantiated concerns.

John Arnold, 

Mildura Country Music Festival co-ordinator

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