FESTIVAL IS OVER: Founder and co-ordinator of the Ballina Coastal Country Music Festival, Carol Stacey, has announced the festival will no longer go ahead.
FESTIVAL IS OVER: Founder and co-ordinator of the Ballina Coastal Country Music Festival, Carol Stacey, has announced the festival will no longer go ahead. Graham Broadhead

Ballina Coastal Country Music Festival sings last song

THE last riff has been played in the Ballina Coastal Country Music Festival as it joins a list of festivals to have died in Ballina.

Festival founder and co-ordinator Carol Stacey has announced the annual festival has wound up, citing financial pressures as the main reason.

The festival has been held for the past four years on the October long weekend, billed as 30 acts over three days.

Mrs Stacey, who estimated about 7000 people attended last year's event, said the committee wasn't able to secure an ongoing naming rights sponsor, leaving a deficit of $20,000 in the $90,000 operating costs.

She said having the Ballina Prawn Festival in the following month - the third annual festival will be held in November this year - has "proved detrimental in securing ongoing sponsorship as there is only so much our business community and volunteers can offer in support".

"The decision to not proceed has been an extremely difficult one. It is sad and disappointing," Mrs Stacey said.

Adding to the blues was the fact that the Murwillumbah Chamber of Commerce has organised a country music festival for the October long weekend this year.

Ballina Shire Council has provided funding for the music festival, for which Mrs Stacey is grateful, as well as the prawn festival.

Ballina's mayor, Cr David Wright, said council was keen to support events that attracted people to Ballina.

But the Ballina Coastal Country Music Festival joins a list of festivals that have come and gone in Ballina.

Other festivals which have come and gone in the shire include the Alstonville Tibouchina Festival and the Lennox Head New Year's Eve event.

Cr Wright said he didn't believe a festival failed just because it lasted three or four years, "as long as people enjoyed it".

He said the call for submissions was made each year as there may be opportunities for one-off events to be funded.

 


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