2014 was the 3rd year of the Sydney Country Music Festival which was held at the Bella Vista Farm in Bella Vista just off the M2. The popularity of the festival has grown substantially from when it started in 2012 with 600 attendees to over 6,000 attendees in 2014. The growth is the result of the hard work put in by the organisers and the quality of the acts that they procured for the festival.
Any gig with artists of the calibre of The McClymonts, The Viper Creek Band, McAlister Kemp, Beccy Cole and Luke O’Shea is sure to be a festival that draws the crowds. As well as the big name established artists there were great performances by Chelsea Basham, Ashleigh Dallas and Wagon. At $45 a ticket this represents great value in anyone’s books.
Being a relative new festival and only the second time at the Bella Vista Farm it is expected that there would be a few teething problems. The higher than expected crowd (Over 1,500 tickets were bought at the gate) did cause some problems with toilets which the organisers corrected by having more delivered through the day. The other concern of patrons was the line-up for the bar facilities was too long which was also not helped by the higher than usual temperature on the day and the extra crowds. The organisers have confirmed that these two issues will be fixed for 2015.
There were a lot of good things about the festival including, the artists line up, the variety of food, the location, easy parking, friendly staff, extra activities such as line dancing, ute display, rock climbing and whip cracking for the time in between artists.
I’m looking forward to 2015 as the festival will be held over 2 days, 31st October, 2015 and 1st November, 2015 with camping available for anyone that wants to make a weekend out of it. It has already been announced that Adam Brand and The Wolfe Brothers will performing next year.
A smaller stage near the entrance to the festival was used for the Silver Saddles competition finals. This competition was designed to unearth raw country talent from NSW and over the past few months competitions were held to determine the finalists. This year’s finalists were Ellen Amy, Rachael Fahim, Blake Dantier Band, Goldheist, Gayle O’Neil and Justin Robinson. The judges had a hard decision to make and couldn’t split Gayle O’Neil and Justin Robinson who were named joint winners for 2014.
There is a great early bird special on tickets for the 2015 Sydney Country Music Festival and if you would like to take advantage of it then head over to their website. If this year was anything to go by then I am sure that next year will be a huge not to be missed event on the music calendar.