Country music festival given silent treatment as crowds fail to show

The Canberra Country Music Festival was marred by disappointing crowd numbers on the weekend, prompting criticism from performers over the lack of promotion by organisers.

The three-day festival was run at the Hall Showgrounds, featuring dozens of country acts, a ute and truck muster, markets, and a host of other entertainment. But the festival failed to make a profit, and was unable to pull in large crowds.

Roughly 2000 people attended the festival over the three days, with the number of local visitors dropping off markedly.

Festival director Kelvin Fahey said the festival planned to increase numbers to between 5000 and 10,000 in five years.

''It's the first time we've been at Hall, it was a big move from EPIC,'' Mr Fahey said.

''We lost the people going to the markets at EPIC, but we gained all these people camping out here.''

One of the festival's performers, Jerrabomberra guitarist Ian Wholohan, said the crowd was disappointing, particularly for the performers who came from interstate.

Mr Wholohan, who performs with a John Denver tribute band, criticised organisers for failing to promote the festival, and for holding the festival's talent quest at Dickson Tradies.

''The crowd out here was pretty poor, because they had to change part of the venue over to Dickson Tradies,'' Mr Wholohan said.


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