THE Mildura Country Music Festival has been thrown a lifeline.Experienced major event manager and promoter ChandlerShaw Events will coordinate the popular festival, that generates millions of dollars in tourism revenue, for the coming three years.
The event faced an uncertain future after its long-time organisers announced that they were stepping away late last year.
According to Mildura Council, the Mildura Music Festival, like its predecessor, will have an emphasis on the country genre, especially the traditional form that has been so popular with patrons.
"Independent artists will still be a hallmark of the revamped event, while offerings will be expanded to include bluegrass, folk, Americana, country rock, alt-country and much more," a council spokesperson said.
"ChandlerShaw Events will be responsible for producing, promoting and running the festival for the coming three years."
While the group is committed to seeing the 2020 event go ahead, they will be closely monitoring the ever-changing restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
ChandlerShaw Events managing partners - Greg Shaw and Jeff Chandler – have extensive knowledge and experience in the entertainment industry.
"Greg has worked as a booking agent, promoter and artist manager, working with artists including Keith Urban, Kenny Rogers, Leo Sayer, Bert Bacharach, Dionne Warwick, Glenn Frey and Foreigner," the spokesperson said.
"He's also managed events including Urban Country Festival and City Musters in Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin and Perth."
Jeff Chandler, meanwhile, has managed artists including Tommy Emmanuel, Lee Kernaghan, Sara Storer, James Blundell and Troy Cassar-Daley.
Mr Chandler has significant event management experience as well as serving as festival and program director for the Iconic Gympie Music Muster from 2012 to 2018.
Mr Chandler said the group was delighted to be selected as producers of a new music festival on behalf of Mildura Rural City Council.
"The former Mildura Country Music festival has been an important event on the local calendar for more than 30 years, and it was decided that change was needed to ensure that it remained relevant and was part of a rapidly-evolving and expanded offering of music and cultural events in Australia," he said.
"We're excited by this opportunity, and are looking forward to taking this hallmark event to new and exciting heights."
Councillor for Economic Development and Tourism Mark Eckel said it was exciting to have a promoter the calibre of ChandlerShaw Events behind the Festival.
"This is an exciting time for one of our region's longest-running hallmark events," Cr Eckel said.
Cr Eckel said Council would provide financial and facilitation support for the term of the agreement.
He said the incoming event organiser represented a new era for the Festival, ensuring it would continue to play an important role in the region's suite of tourism and visitor drawcards.
More information regarding the 2020 Mildura Music Festival will be released at a later date.