Urban show boosts town’s economy

FIRING UP: Keith Urban warmed up the chilly conditions in Collins Park, Narrabri, on Friday night, with his hot guitar playing and singing. Photo: Rebecca Belt

FIRING UP: Keith Urban warmed up the chilly conditions in Collins Park, Narrabri, on Friday night, with his hot guitar playing and singing. Photo: Rebecca Belt

KEITH Urban brought more than great music to Narrabri, and his fans nearly ran the town dry.

More than 6000 people streamed into Collins Park on Friday night to see the country music superstar belt out some of their favourite tunes.

Although temperatures reached into the low single digits during the show, fans dancing across the park didn’t notice.

It would seem Urban, although he mentioned the chilly night throughout the concert, didn’t mind the temperature, taking off his leather jacket during the show and playing in a T-shirt.

He also knew how to heat up the crowd with his singing and impeccable guitar playing.

Also adding to the heat on stage was a guest performance by 2013 Toyota Star Maker Kaylee Bell on the Urban and Miranda Lambert duet We Were Us, with Bell ably singing Lambert’s lines.

The crowd thanked him back with gifts, including a large bra thrown on stage, which then adorned the microphone for a song or two.

Crossing Theatre manager Trent Bruinsma said there had been plenty of “encouraging conversations and comments on the night” and hailed the event a success.

“Anecdotally, it’s been successful for the town as well,” he said.

“We’ll be having the post-event conversations over the next two to four weeks and then we will be able to gauge what impact the show had on the town in terms of community benefit and economic benefit.” 

Mr Bruinsma said it had boosted the cotton town.

“People started arriving mid-week and there would be no doubt in my mind, it certainly gave an increase trade to the town for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday,” he said.

Narrabri Shire mayor Conrad Bolton said it was the biggest event the town had hosted and he was “pretty chuffed” about the success of the event. “We’ve estimated it brought $1.5 million into the local area,” he said.

“By all accounts, it was a huge success for all the businesses in town.

“The pubs have even started to run low on beer and spirits.”

Cr Bolton said Narrabri was starting to get a reputation for unique performances, and they hoped to attract more events in the future.

“It’s really healthy in a dry climate,” he said.

“It brings the community together and everyone gets to enjoy it.” 

Cr Bolton caught up with the country star backstage.

“He’s a really nice bloke and a genuine bloke,” he said.

Tourist Hotel assistant manager Sandra Bushby was not quite singing Pub With No Beer, but supplies were running low at all hotels in Narrabri.

“We are very low on beer and had to restock again for spirits and stuff like that,” she said. 

“It’s been good for the whole town. We had 300 to 400 each night and would be happy to see other events in town.”

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