A FESTIVAL in the hand is worth two in the bush as far as local sports clubs are concerned.
Tamworth Country Music Festival's postponement brought relief for businesses who still stand to make a buck off visitors, but local footy clubs that rely on income from campers have been told a lot won't be back in April.
Tamworth Magpies Rugby Union Club president Mitch Hanlon said while he's trying to look at the glass half full, he can't deny the heavy financial blow the festival shuffle has dealt his budget.
"That's $50,000 worth of income we now don't get for a second year to pay off our building loan," he said.
"We don't think they'll come here in April, we have asked them how many would show interest to come and if they want to we will make it happen.
"If we have to defer games or move them to another venue we will, because we want to look out for those patrons and get some revenue as well."
The team is still paying off a $300,000 loan to redevelop the clubhouse, and between paying to have electrical already set up for campers, a groundskeeper on payroll and lost booking fees, their bottom line has taken a serious hit.
"The revenue is through the floor, it's in the toilet," he said.
"Other footy grounds and sporting clubs are in the same boat, we'll have to go to our sponsors and see if they can come forward with sponsorship - we have about $3000 in the bank and we need $10,000 a month to survive."
Over at the Tamworth Pirates Rugby Club, president Mark Gallienne said people had already started to cancel bookings before the festival was postponed.
"We let people know what's happening and gave them the option to refund or keep their deposits for April," he said.
"I think people are really flexible now and far more understanding than they used to be."
The festival is now on April 18 to 24.
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