Gig could be a regular

By Deniliquin Pastoral Times

A free, family-friendly community concert on Saturday night, held as part of this year’s Strawberry Fields Festival in Tocumwal, aims to give those who aren’t attending the three-day festival an opportunity to catch some of the weekend’s music.

Festival organisers describe the event as a way to ‘‘give back’’ to the community and hope the event can make the most of the unfolding Tocumwal Foreshore development.

Organisers are meanwhile predicting about 8000 people will attend the broader Strawberry Fields Festival in Tocumwal over the weekend.

The inaugural Riverbank Community Concert promises to be a free, family-friendly event at the Tocumwal Foreshore, supported by Strawberry Fields and the Tocumwal Chamber of Commerce.

Stakeholders say if it proves successful, it could become a regular accompanying community festival.

Jazz band The Rookies, Amaru Tribe- a group described as being ‘‘bound through strings, skins and wood’’- will perform, alongside Tall Paul’s ‘‘classical, ambient prog, jazz, fusion.’’

The artists will also appear at the weekend’s Strawberry Fields Festival.

The Rookies band leader Greg Sher said he couldn’t wait.

‘‘As exciting as it is to play on the big stages in the main festival, the true heart of any event is the warm and welcoming community that makes it possible. Strawberry Fields director Billy Staughton said the community concert would give people who otherwise wouldn’t attend the three-day music, lifestyle and arts festival, a chance to be exposed to the depth of talent that Strawberry Fields brings to the region each year.

‘‘This is a chance for locals of all ages to enjoy and get an insight into the diversity of music our festival offers to the 8,000 patrons who are coming to Tocumwal this weekend,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s a small gesture from us to benefit locals who’ve supported us.’’

‘‘If this concert is well-received, we’d love to continue to offer and run this as a featured sister festival every year,’’ he said.

‘‘We want to utilise and maximise the ongoing Tocumwal Foreshore redevelopment that we’ve helped sponsor through our annual Community Grants Scheme.

‘‘We hope this concert helps Chamber’s plan to build a natural Amphitheatre that will coincide with the building of the Foreshore splash park.’’

Tocumwal Chamber president Sergio Redegalli said if this year was successful, ‘‘we have no doubt this will be the beginning of something special for the community. There’s so much potential.’’

The Riverbank Community Concert is set to kick off from 6pm on the banks of the Murray.

Attendees are encouraged to BYO refreshments, chairs, blankets and enjoy food from local food suppliers.