Stage is set for Tamworth’s Summer Starter gig

THE stage is set for a summer festival to remember as Tamworth’s Rugby Park transforms into a weekend music-lover’s playground.
Nanjing Night Net

Complete with an enormous 18m-by-15m stage fresh from the Big Day Out festival series, tomorrow’s Summer Starter Music Festival is set to impress.

Expecting crowds of about 2500 people, festival organiser Sam Scott said a predicted forecast of a sunny 29 degrees Celsius for the day was causing a strong last-minute demand for tickets.

Bar and food marquees are also up, with a special chillout tent and misting machine designed to cool down those who need a respite from the heat. Headline artists are expected to begin arriving tonight, with local bands gearing up for their big-stage debut.

Winners of the Harvest an Artist competition – The O’ Trio, Blake Saban 3 and Brother Fox – will play their sets in the afternoon before the big guns take to the stage.

Bands Loon Lake and Stonefield will take the crowd into dusk, while headliners Josh Pyke, Bluejuice and Boy & Bear will continue until the event closes at 10.30pm.

Mr Scott said one or two concerns had been raised about noise levels during the full-day event, but special speakers designed to direct the noise would be used, to keep surrounding residents happy.

He said a letterbox flier drop for local residents had included a dedicated phone number for people to ring should there be any concerns.

Tamworth police will have a presence at the over-18s event, with officers from operational support group the Target Action Group and a drug dog assisting Tamworth officers.

Oxley Local Area Command Inspector Jeff Budd said the role of police was to be the “guardians of good order”.

“Our role is to be in the background and let people enjoy themselves,” Inspector Budd said.

Plain-clothes and uniformed officers will be stationed inside and outside the venue and will target anti-social behaviour, drug use and intoxication among the crowd.

Only mid-strength alcohol will be available during the event. Mr Scott said the same responsible service of alcohol rules that applied to licensed venues would be enforced.

In spite of festivals being famous for price inflation, Mr Scott said food and alcohol prices would be kept to a reasonable level at the event.

“No price-gouging here. The price you pay for food inside the gates is the same you pay outside the gates,” Mr Scott said.

Marius St will be closed off to accommodate the predicted influx of patrons on the day.

About 1200 people are expected to take advantage of a free bus service available to take revellers to and from the event, an idea based on the popular model used during the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

For those who haven’t yet bought tickets, Mr Scott said they were still available via the website; for last-minute fans, a small allocation will be sold on the day.

Mr Scott said that after 18 months of hard work developing the event, he was looking forward to seeing the gates open tomorrow.

“To see the stage go up and looking amazing, it’s all coming together now, it’s very exciting. It’s something Tamworth hasn’t seen before,” he said.

The gates will open at 1.30pm tomorrow.

PUT YOUR BACK INTO IT: Engineers and production staff for the Summer Starter Music Festival put up the 18m-by-15m stage for tomorrow’s event at Rugby Park. Photo: Robert Chappel 211112RCG06

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