Music to the ears of festival

By Riverine Herald

CAMPASPE Shire Council has approved a five-year funding agreement in support of Riverboats Music Festival.

From 2019, council will contribute $5000 cash and $6600 in-kind support every year.

Mayor Adrian Weston said events were crucial to the tourism industry.

‘‘Bringing with them enormous benefit to the shire’s economic base, culture and environment,’’ he said.

‘‘These funding agreements will go a long way in ensuring the ongoing sustainability of such events in our region.’’

Westbound Productions, formally known as Full Dress Productions, launched the music festival in February 2012.

It was created in partnership with Echuca-Moama and District Tourism Association with a focus on increasing visitation, average length of stay and economic spend in Echuca-Moama and across the region.

More than 6000 people attended the 2018 event at Echuca’s Aquatic Reserve and in the past three years it has contributed $6.9 million to the economy.

‘‘As the tourism representative for council ... this is one of the major events that attracts a very large Melbourne population to our community,’’ deputy mayor Vicki Neele said at the council meeting in November.