Pumped by Blues windfall

Holly ThompsonManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Gloria Brown from The Turner Brown Band on the rhythm guitar.
Camera IconGloria Brown from The Turner Brown Band on the rhythm guitar. Credit: Holly Thompson

Bridgetown accommodation was packed to the brim at the weekend as 12,000 people descended on the town for the annual Blues at Bridgetown which pumped more than $2 million into the community.

Festival organisers estimated the event generated a $2.5 million windfall for the community through increased numbers using accommodation and hospitality providers.

Shire president Tony Pratico said most accommodation sites had been fully booked.

Aussie music legend Russell Morris.
Camera IconAussie music legend Russell Morris. Credit: Holly Thompson

“The showground and high school oval camp grounds were full and so was the caravan park,” he said.

“The caravan park has an overflow area too and even that was jam packed, so we’re talking about opening some more camping spots for next year’s festival.”

Bridgetown Caravan Park worker Con Laskas said they were fully booked by Saturday morning.

Guitarist and singer Grant Haua, from Swamp Thing.
Camera IconGuitarist and singer Grant Haua, from Swamp Thing. Credit: Holly Thompson

“We had been fully booked before that but we had several people who didn’t show up so some people were able to get in last-minute,” he said.

“We’re fully booked throughout the festival every year.”

Cr Pratico said the number of people staying at local accommodation reflected the numbers at the festival.

Nikki Brown from The Turner Brown Band playing the steel guitar.
Camera IconNikki Brown from The Turner Brown Band playing the steel guitar. Credit: Holly Thompson

“I run an ice-cream van which I had open during the festival and I definitely could not have managed to make many more ice-creams,” he said.

Festival publicist Bob Gordon said the milder weather this year was a big factor for the numbers at the street party.

“The weather on Saturday was a bit milder this year so people stayed longer into the afternoon,” he said.

Gloria Brown from The Turner Brown Band playing the rhythm guitar.
Camera IconGloria Brown from The Turner Brown Band playing the rhythm guitar. Credit: Holly Thompson

“All the venues were well attended and we were very happy with the crowds for the larger outdoor stages at Blue Owl’s Nest and Geegelup across the three days.”

Mr Gordon said all the feed- back from the event had been positive.

“We have had really good feedback from the artists, from Bridgetown veterans such as 19-Twenty and Russell Morris, who look forward to coming back every year, to the first-timers such as The Turner Brown Band who fell in love with the atmosphere of the festival, as well as the South West countryside,” he said.

Shaun Kirk plays at the Festival Club on Saturday night.
Camera IconShaun Kirk plays at the Festival Club on Saturday night. Credit: Holly Thompson

“People really seem to enjoy the balance of returning artists, as well as the new additions that we made to the line-up.” He said planning for next year would start soon.

“Essentially it’s a year-round affair, from the general administration of running the event to booking the artists for the next edition of the festival,” he said.

Corey Legge playing electric guitar at the Bridgetown Hotel.
Camera IconCorey Legge playing electric guitar at the Bridgetown Hotel. Credit: Holly Thompson
Amanda Emblem from The Amanda Emblem Experiment playing at the Festival Club.
Camera IconAmanda Emblem from The Amanda Emblem Experiment playing at the Festival Club. Credit: Holly Thompson
Jaymi Toole from Little Quirks performing on the Festival Club stage.
Camera IconJaymi Toole from Little Quirks performing on the Festival Club stage. Credit: Holly Thompson
Russell Morris plays on the Blue Owl's stage at Blues at Bridgetown.
Camera IconRussell Morris plays on the Blue Owl's stage at Blues at Bridgetown. Credit: Holly Thompson
David Carey and Vicki Fuller, with Olay and Michelle Vannapraseuth, from Perth.
Camera IconDavid Carey and Vicki Fuller, with Olay and Michelle Vannapraseuth, from Perth. Credit: Holly Thompson
Lesley Moon and Jeri Tatian, from Perth.
Camera IconLesley Moon and Jeri Tatian, from Perth. Credit: Holly Thompson
Craig Wallace-Gibb and Cassandra King, from Perth.
Camera IconCraig Wallace-Gibb and Cassandra King, from Perth. Credit: Holly Thompson
Sandra and Tim Antipas, from Perth.
Camera IconSandra and Tim Antipas, from Perth. Credit: Holly Thompson
Christine and Rod King, with Didith Atkin, from Greenbushes.
Camera IconChristine and Rod King, with Didith Atkin, from Greenbushes. Credit: Holly Thompson
Helen Davis, from Queensland, Chyree Bailey, from Donnybrook, Bradley Poulton, from Bridgetown, Caitlin Bailey, from Queensland and Shania Foam, from Donnybrook.
Camera IconHelen Davis, from Queensland, Chyree Bailey, from Donnybrook, Bradley Poulton, from Bridgetown, Caitlin Bailey, from Queensland and Shania Foam, from Donnybrook. Credit: Holly Thompson
Paul Sting, Bev Harvey and Noona Stace, from Perth.
Camera IconPaul Sting, Bev Harvey and Noona Stace, from Perth. Credit: Holly Thompson
Event publicist Bob Gordon introduces performances on the Blue Owl's stage.
Camera IconEvent publicist Bob Gordon introduces performances on the Blue Owl's stage. Credit: Holly Thompson

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