Festival comes of age

With their show-stopping enthusiasm and skillful moves, Johnny’s Rockers from Albury, who have become stalwarts of the festival, will be returning to Rockin’ on East this year to share their love of rock n’ roll dancing. Photo: Ben McCormack.

Allen Law, a lifelong music fan and instigator of music lifestyle event Rockin’ on East, is confident that Narrandera’s home grown music festival is steadily coming of age.

The festival is fast approaching and will be held over the forthcoming October long weekend.

“Allowing for the floods in 2015 and 2016 this festival has been a success from day one,” said Mr Law. “The potential for this event in Narrandera is massive. If you look at the Parkes Elvis Festival, it started with only twenty people and look at it today.

“The Parkes Elvis Festival started 28 years ago and continues to grow with over 26,000 people attending last year and more than 200 events across five days.

“Our festival is now paying for itself and visitors are dropping money in our town, the potential is fantastic,” he said.

Last year more than 3000 people attended and that was just the people who signed the visitor’s books. Mr Law said word was spreading about the festival with a number of the biggest rock n’ roll fan clubs adding the Narrandera event to their calendars.

“That is really massive. The big clubs will follow any good bands around; the Honky Tonk Rockers for example are coming and they have a dedicated band of fans who will be attending just to see them perform.”

Star Parkes Elvis Festival singer Sheryl Sharkie aka “ShElvis” is also a confirmed attendee this year.

“ShElvis, a female Elvis impersonator from Western Sydney, is a must see. She will be performing a gospel set in Marie Bashir Park on Sunday followed by more main stream Elvis classics,” Mr Law said.

Narrandera Vintage and Veterans Collectors Car Club has put their hands up to help organise and host a show and shine event.

“A big pat on the back goes to the club for coming onboard. The simple fact is it is one less thing that I have to worry about, this is a part of the festival that can really take off.”

Mr Law urged those in the local community with a desire to see the event blossom to come and assist by volunteering.

“We certainly have opportunities for volunteers to help. They can come and see us when the pop up shop opens and we can certainly find something for them to do.

“Like every other committee out there with every other festival we need more volunteers to come and assist us.”

The pop up shop will be opening to handle enquiries by residents and visitors alike on the Wednesday immediately before the start of the festival.

Asked about the relevance of rock and roll of the fifties and sixties in 2019 Mr Law is adamant that everyone has a story to tell about rock and roll.

“Whether it’s the music, the fashions or the cars of the time, it will never die. Rock and roll festivals are just getting bigger all the time.

“We really want to thank all our wonderful sponsors in town – not all of them are in the main street which shows the belief they have in the event.

“Whilst not every sponsor will see a return on the day if they are not in East Street, the money will stay in Narrandera, it will flow around the town.

“I have visited the motels and accommodation houses and it appears as though bookings are pretty good so far. While it’s not the same as the Easter Rod Run that event had to start somewhere and the same applies to our festival.”

Rockin’ on East will kick off with a meet and greet on the evening of Friday October 4 and continue to Sunday October 6 with musical acts, vehicle displays, fashion, pin-ups, parades, food and fun for the whole family.

1 Comment on "Festival comes of age"

  1. Was a great weekend. Congratulations to all committee and volunteers.

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