Peter Allen Festival 2019 tickets released

Mayor Peter Petty joined Vince Sherry for the official launch of the 2019 Peter Allen Festival on Wednesday afternoon, on the steps of the iconic Tenterfield Saddler building.
Mayor Peter Petty joined Vince Sherry for the official launch of the 2019 Peter Allen Festival on Wednesday afternoon, on the steps of the iconic Tenterfield Saddler building.

During a dull Wednesday afternoon this week there was a bright spot on High Street as organisers officially launched the 2019 Peter Allen Festival, but you might need to be quick to snare tickets.

The festival's Vince Sherry said all 1200 entries to ticketed events last year were sold out six weeks ahead, and this year's 2500 tickets are expected to go as fast. Local accommodation houses are filling up, but those lucky enough to already live here are being encouraged to spread the word.

"We have a limited budget, so we have to make the money work for us," Mr Sherry said.

"We're looking for as much public PR as we can."

Doing more than his bit is Boy from Oz Todd McKenny, who happened to visit the Tenterfield Saddler on the way through town a couple of weeks before last year's inaugural festival. He went on to spruike the event on Nine morning TV, giving it great exposure.

Mr Sherry said they've been in contact with Mr McKenny's management and he's keen to be involved in one of the festivals, probably not this year but the organising committee is hopeful of him being a key attraction of the 2020 festival.

Council estimates that last year's festival injected around $300,000 into the local economy over the three days. This year the festival will run over four days, September 5-8, and is expected to draw in 3000-4000 visitors and double last year's economic boost.

"The possibilities and potential of this event are enormous," Mr Sherry said, especially as this is bringing in 'outside' money to a community struggling in drought.

He urged local businesses to support the festival by dressing up shopfronts and getting behind the festival organisers, who are working tirelessly on a huge program.

Jess Lockwood entertained those at the public festival launch at the Tenterfield School of Arts on Wednesday evening with a wonderful rendition of the Allen classic 'I still call Australia Home'.

Jess Lockwood entertained those at the public festival launch at the Tenterfield School of Arts on Wednesday evening with a wonderful rendition of the Allen classic 'I still call Australia Home'.

The Tilma Group, known for devising the Tenterfield True brand, is handling promotion for the festival. Principal Linda Tillman said we just have to give people a reason to come to Tenterfield, and they're sure to return (if they ever leave).

"But festivals are hard work, and need so much community support."

She said this festival is really exciting and it's going to grow, and people should be proud the tickets sold out in the first year. She cautioned, however, about getting too big too fast.

"People say, 'We want it to be as big as the Parkes Festival'. You will be," she said.

"But grow organically. (At this stage) keep the festival nice and small and humble, and 'true'."

The Tilma Group will be promoting the festival in target markets through an integrated campaign of television, print, radio and social media ads, and these will start rolling out now.

They have created a marketing package including photos, video and stories available to anyone, to make it easy for groups and individuals to promote the festival through their own connections.

"Please do what you can to spread the word," she said.

She and her colleagues are attempting to secure corporate sponsorship for the festival, to relieve the load of local businesses. She said this has been a tough ask given the young age of the festival, when these corporations want to see big numbers for their investment.

'Aligned' companies like Blundstone, Lowes and Akubra have been approached, and Ms Tillman said all gave their time for meetings and were interested, and opportunities remain to reconsider their involvement in the future.

"We're building good relationships," she said, with some negotiations still underway.

In the meantime festival organisers are pursuing a crowd-funding initiative, with more details in coming weeks.

Those who can contribute their time as a volunteer to help out in the lead-up to the festival or on the weekend itself can register their interest through the website or, as the time approaches, at a desk at the Tenterfield Visitor Information Centre. Mr Sherry promised that they won't be expected to shoulder a huge workload.

Market stall holders and musicians and performers can also register their interest this way.

If you couldn't make it on Wednesday night, here's the full presentation....

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