Awards double for Ute Muster

By Deniliquin Pastoral Times

The Deni Ute Muster’s 2019 festival was the best regional event in Australia.

The famed festival received both the state and national Meetings & Events Australia Awards for 2019 Regional Event of the Year on Friday evening.

Play on the Plains Festival Inc general manager Vicky Lowry said the award is designed to recognise the combined team effort that is required to successfully plan, organise and manage an event in regional Australia.

All events held in non-metropolitan areas, and where the population is less than 500,000, were eligible for the awards.

This year is the first time both the state and national awards were announced on the same night.

The virtual event was live streamed from ICC Sydney studios on Friday night to more than 500 people across Australia.

To inject some of the fanfare, the night included a red carpet photo competition, award presentations and entertainment.

Winners were able to accept their awards online via Zoom.

‘‘In these uncertain times within the industry, it was an exciting initiative of MEA to put together what was a major technical production to host the awards,’’ Mrs Lowry said.

‘‘The win is a great way to be recognised for  the hard work by all involved, in what was one of our most successful Deni Ute Musters.

‘‘Staff got involved in the night watching the awards over dinner. 

‘‘Prior to the awards they dressed in their formal gowns and sent in photos taken in front of the Muster Gates for the red carpet competition.’’

The 2019 Ute Muster, at which American country music legend Tim McGraw was the headliner, attracted a crowd of about 20,000.

The World Record Singlet Muster record was broken at the event, with 3972 people wearing the iconic blue singlet gathering to beat the record by a mere 13.

The 2019 event saw 8591 utes fill the famed Ute Paddock, which was short of the World Record of 9736 set in 2013.