More than a month and a half ahead of the event, the inaugural Gippsland Country Music Festival has sold out. This is a massive coup for the festival, which sports an enviable line-up featuring headliner Lee Kernaghan, as well as Brad Cox, Casey Barnes, Felicity Urquhart, Andrew Swift and The Davidson Brothers to name a few. The one-day festival also includes whip-cracking demonstrations, to line-dancing classes, rides, market stalls and a host of delicious Gippsland food traders to sample from.
Organised by the crew at Red Hill Entertainment, including brothers Aidan and Rhett McLaren who grew up and live in Gippsland, and also put on the popular The Hills Are Alive and NYE on the Hill festivals, the Gippsland Country Music Festival was a dream to bring country music to their home region. A dream that has come to fruition thanks to the support of the local community and surrounding areas.
“After such a challenging 12-months for the live music and events industry, to have people show this level of support for a brand-new event is just wonderful,” says Aidan. “To be honest, it has been a highlight of the year for myself and the team. So many people work so hard to bring events like this to life and come April 24, there are going to be a whole lot of smiling faces when those acts get up on the Gippsland Country stage. I think it is also going to be really special for the artists. For many of them, this will be one of – if not the – first shows they’ve played in over a year. We feel very lucky and grateful.”
Plans are already in place for the 2022 event. Organisers are keen to make the Gippsland Country Music Festival more than just an event, but an opportunity for music fans to not only experience the region, but also get away for a break. “We’ve already started chatting to potential artists for 2022 and are really excited about how the line-up is coming together,” says Aidan. “Without giving away too much, if everything goes to plan, there is going to be a great mix of new and well-known acts that I think the audience are going to be really keen to see. More on that later.”
The long-term goal of the Gippsland Country Music Festival as to put the Gippsland region of Victoria on the country music map. Already the organisers are seeing great support from music fans from outside of their region and hope this will extend even further in the future. “Gippsland Country Music Festival is huge for our Gippsland region, both economically and socially,” says Aidan. “Our ticketing data shows that a lot of people are travelling from outside of Gippsland to attend. The knock-on effects of this to local business is immense, as many of these people will be staying overnight in Gippsland and will most likely be exploring some of the other amazing places the region has to offer. The event itself also engages many local contractors and businesses that benefit financially. For locals, having world-class artists performing on your doorstep is pretty special, and the event also provides people a chance to connect with each other and share an enjoyable day out connecting with family and friends of all ages and the local community. After the year we’ve all had, I think that’s really important and something we’re all looking forward to. For those from greater Melbourne and outside of Gippsland, be prepared to fall in love with Gippsland. Chances are, once you’ve spent some time down here, and seen how great a place this is, you’ll soon be looking to make the move down permanently.”
The Gippsland Country Music Festival is held at Mossvale Park, Berry’s Creek, Victoria on Saturday 24th April 2021.
Music fans wanting information on the 2022 Gippsland Country Music Festival are encouraged to sign-up to the event newsletter via the festival website – newsletter members will get first access to 2022 tickets, announcements and early-bird offers.
For more information, please visit www.gippslandcountrymusicfestival.com