Riverboats Music Festival in Echuca set to give town a $2 million boost.

An article about the Riverboats Music Festival featuring quotes from Mark Seymour.

Author:  Chris Pedler, Bendigo Advertiser.

Date: 14 January 2019.

Original URL: https://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/5850518/festival-to-boost-echuca-moama-economy-with-influx-of-music-lovers/

Article Text

Echuca’s businesses are preparing for an influx of music lovers in February.

The Riverboats Music Festival has brought in more than $2 million to the river town each year since 2014 with the Campaspe Shire Council measuring the economic boost at $2.75 million in 2018.

Campaspe Shire events support officer Belinda Owen said the economic impact continues to grow.

“We had $2.25 brought in in 2014 which has increased in the four year period (to 2018),” she said.

“It attracts a different demographic to other events in the region and showcases all there is to do if you have a life on the Murray.”

Last year the festival won state and national tourism awards, highlighting the event’s appeal and popularity.

“It is a family-friendly event in a location and unique vibe that it has with it’s natural amphitheatre,” Ms Owen said.

“Riverboats allows for that picnic vibe with patrons bringing their own food and tapping into the local providores and other shops in the region.”

Musician Mark Seymour, of Hunters and Collectors fame, has played the festival multiple times since its inception in 2012.

He said he and his band had a lot of experiences with inland festivals that weren’t necessarily “on the map”.

“Riverboats has grown massively. It is held in a premiere location and I like that fact it has a relaxed and unpretentious atmosphere,” he said.

“Festivals are dependent on the community vibe and what people in the community are getting out of it.

“You go to some places and are asked to play start-up (events) where there is hardly anyone. Festivals fail if they can’t gain traction and that generally has to with the credentials of a venue and how locals relate to it.

‘You’ve got to own it and take possession of it and that speaks a lot for (Riverboats) and its relationship (to the community).”

The Riverboats Music Festival is held in Echuca from February 15 to 17. Weekend passes are sold out but passes to the Friday night performance featuring Mark Seymour are still available.