Get your honky tonk on for the Ballina country music fest

HAY bales will be strewn around Ballina and checked shirts will be a popular fashion item with this weekend's Ballina Coastal Country Music Festival.

This will be the third annual event and organiser Carol Stacey expects it to be another "huge" weekend.

The music festival won the shire's community event award at this year's Australia Day ceremony, and is again supported by Ballina Shire Council.

Mrs Stacey said the Ballina festival was now being talked about by fans at the larger Tamworth and Gympie country music festivals.

"And we've had to turn acts away this year," Mrs Stacey said.

"The festival has huge potential to grow and deliver economic benefits for Ballina."

This year there are about 30 acts at seven venues in Ballina, from well-known acts on the country music scene to up-and-coming stars like Doug McIntyre.

A bus will be timetabled to travel from the Westower Tavern into the Ballina CBD and to the Shaws Bay Hotel. Tickets for the bus cost $5 - with unlimited travel - and are available from venues and at the festival shop in Ballina's CBD.

Shane Nicholson will be the feature act at the Bal- lina RSL Club on Friday night - see page 18 for details.

The Wolverines will play an outdoor show on the back green at the Cherry Street Sports Club on Sat- urday night. Tickets are available from both venues.

If you buy a ticket for the Wolverines' show at the festival shop, you will get a free CD by one of the acts, but only while stocks last.

The main River St block in Ballina will be closed on Saturday, while acts will play in Fawcett Park on Sunday.

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