Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Agnes Water Blues, Roots Fest Scrapped

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Agnes Water Blues, Roots Fest Scrapped

Article excerpt

Byline: LAURA McKEE Entertainment

THOUSANDS of blues and roots fans will be left disappointed after the six-year long annual event at Agnes Water was scrapped.

A favourite on the Gladstone region calendar, more than 3000 people attended this year's Agnes Water Blues and Roots Festival in February, and local artists had been encouraged to make their mark at the event.

It grew dramatically since starting in 2009, with a second music stage introduced in 2013 and Richard Clapton headlining this year.

But the Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre wiped the festival from its annual calendar of events saying it was no longer needed.

Blues and Roots catered to a relaxed atmosphere and appreciative crowd with artists along the lines of The Black Sorrows and Phil Emmanuel.

However an independent organiser will try to fill the shoes of the popular blues weekend in November next year, with plans for a 1770 Music Festival, catering for all genres of music such as rock, punk, indie, country, reggae, blues and metal.

It will be an all-ages initiative that coincides with Schoolies Week, giving parents another option to send their teenagers to instead of Airlie Beach and the Gold Coast.

Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre acting manager performing arts Michael Bloyce said he was aware the "Agnes folk were looking at doing it themselves", however said it was not the council's sole responsibility to run music events.

"We had done it six years in a row and council made a decision not to deliver it a seventh time," he said.

"It's not council responsibility to run festivals in perpetuity; normally you put it on if there is a need in the community. So that was done many years ago."

Mr Bloyce said the council was not against major events, with a panel dedicated to planning entertainment for the region.

"It was an event that attracted some support, some years more than others," he said. …

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