ARMIDALE is ready to rock with a weekend of good music and great atmosphere at A Day on the Green tomorrow afternoon.
As well as being a hit with music lovers with headliners Paul Kelly and Neil Finn on stage tomorrow night, it’s also a tourism and financial boon for the city and for the venue, Peterson’s Winery.
Winery owner Colin Peterson said it was a win for Armidale and a win for the winery with the profile lifted since the first concert last year attracted just over 6000 people.
“A lot of people lived in town and didn’t know we were here, so it raised the profile, got a lot of people out here and they come out and enjoy the gardens and have lunch on weekends because they came to Day on the Green,” he said.
“It’s the talk of the town again and we’re definitely happy to have it here. It’s so good for the town and people saw the first one and saw how well it went, so they will come back again.”
Before Neil and Paul perform, Lisa Mitchell and Mark Seymour and The Undertow will warm up the crowd with DJ Grand Master Baitz.
Promoter Michael Newton said the weather was looking good with very little chance of rain and 22 degrees expected.
More than 7000 tickets have beensold and organisers said they were ready for another excellent weekend of music and fun.
“We are very happy with that result and I think it’s really based on the good time that everyone had last year,” Mr Newton said.
“As well, we have a very special line-up and the shows with Paul and Neil have been amazing so far. It’s really good for Armidale to have the second show with Paul and Neil. They’ve just got so many songs, they play for over two hours and you hear all the songs that have become part of our Australian music landscape.”
The two legends of the Australian music scene play piano and guitar during the show and perform each other’s songs.
“It’s really, really fantastic,” Mr Newton said.
He said it was also a coup for the city of Armidale.
“It brings so many people to the area, with much of the accommodation around booked out, and Armidale council has organised a mini festival in the main street the next day,” Mr Newton said.
“All credit to them in embracing the people who are going to come and putting Armidale on the map as a great place to visit.
“There is some beautiful country out there and the local businesses are out supporting it.”
Tent City will set up at the Armidale Showgrounds for the first time, offering patrons alternative accommodation at a prime location, convenient for the city centre and transport to and from the event.
Armidale Legacy will be on site to offer breakfast and other services.
Mr Newton said there had been a couple of changes to the concert site with some of the bars moved, but nothing major was needed from last year.
Mr Peterson said this year there were also about 3000 proper seats in the front section (gold and silver reserved) and the site only needed a little tweaking and fine-tuning.
“It’s all coming together and looking good,” he said.
Mr Newton said because they’d had two out of two good results in Armidale so far, he couldn’t see why the festival wouldn’t return year-after-year.
“It’s a tricky business we’re in, presenting outdoor shows and relying on ticket sales, and you never know what’s going to happen until it happens, but our people are experienced and we’re going into the show fully organised,” he said.
“The site is pretty much set up and the stage is in so it’s pretty much ready.”