ARMIDALE couldn’t be happier after the second consecutive successful A Day on the Green at Petersons Winery on Saturday.
This year the city held out its arms in welcome even further, with markets in the mall yesterday and shops and cafes threw open their doors and reaped the benefits.
In a case of “if you build it, they will come”, Armidale tested the waters with A Day on the Green last year, which was a winner for the city, and this year the concert attracted more than 7000 people – up about 900 tickets on last year.
Petersons Winery owner Colin Peterson said everyone was well-behaved and the day went very well.
The concert attracted people from across the country including Perth, Darwin, north Queensland, Canberra, Melbourne and even Tasmania.
The weather was even well-behaved, with some misty rain falling early on Saturday and clearing up by mid-morning for a picture-perfect autumn Armidale day.
Mr Peterson said the music was very good, too, with headliners Paul Kelly and Neil Finn drawing the crowds, and everyone had a great day.
“It’s good for Armidale,” he said. “The markets in town went really well with food stalls and they closed the mall off so it was great. The weekend went very well and now we’ll just need a day or two to recover.”
Recovery began straight away, with the stage and half the portable toilets gone by mid-afternoon yesterday.
The winery also garnered some new fans, with people who enjoyed the wine on Saturday returning yesterday to purchase more.
Mr Peterson said this year “went extremely well” but organisers believed the venue could host 7500 to 8000 people.
The mayor of Armidale Duma- resq Council, Jim Maher, said the weekend was “absolutely fantastic”.
“The concert was fantastic with great music, everyone was happy and the weather held off,” he said.
“We had markets in the mall with absolutely thousands of people there and council organised jazz and rock ‘n’ roll bands who were great. The shops and cafes were crowded, as were the clothing shops and all the shops that opened did well. It was a wonderful follow-up to the day on the green.”
Cr Maher said there was one more year to run on the A Day On The Green contract, but he’d told organisers they’d love to make it an annual event in the city, and organisers were keen to stay in Armidale.
“We’re delighted,” he said.
“People turned up in droves and it’s just turning out to be a wonderful event for the city. Armidale is at its best in autumn.”
It’s not over either, with the city preparing to welcome the autumn festival, car rally, Legends of League and even roller derby.