Wendy Gordon, one of four people who organise the annual Clarence Valley Country Music Muster at Ulmarra, couldn’t be happier about the outcome of the week-long festival, which wrapped up on Sunday with a performance by country music star Adam Harvey.
“We were very fortunate; blessed with weather, we got a bit of rain and wind, but nothing major – the show went on,” she said.
The muster has been on the country music calendar since 2013, when around 115 caravans were on site – in 2014 there were 320, then over 400 in 2015 and more than 500 vans onsite this year.
Ms Gordon said that between 1300 and 1400 people attended the muster during the week.
“And we’re starting to get a lot more local people, too, but people come from far and wide: South Australia, Northern Territory, Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales,”
Ms Gordon and her ex-husband, Terry Gordon OAM, who is a seasoned and internationally travelled country artist, have history with Adam Harvey, “going back a long way to when he was 18 or 19: having him here was wonderful”.
Ms Gordon said her brother, Ken Watters, who looks after the grounds, sister, Kerry Flanagan, who organises the cafe, canteen and food areas, and Terry Gordon, who coordinates the entertainment, are integral parts of the four-director team.
Next year, she anticipates that caravan numbers will edge towards the maximum of 720 caravans that will fit on the site.
“We’re building the infrastructure,” she said. “Next year we’ve booked Jett Williams (country music legend Hank William’s daughter), Tania Kernaghan and Chad Morgan.
“A lot of sites are reserved for next year; it’s great for the valley and brings a lot of money into town – people go for day trips in the morning before the walk-up [entertainment] starts at lunchtime.”
The winner of the walk-up entertainers’ competition was Pete ‘Smokey’ Dawson, from Queensland, who won a $2,000 recording prize.