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Country music fans in the Goulburn Valley can gear up for a big weekend at the end of October with the launch of the Goulburn Valley Country FestivalThe event is the sister festival to the sold-out Gippsland Country Music Festival and features a coveted line-up of some of the biggest names on the Australian country music scene.

Headlined by Lee Kernaghan, with special guests Brad Cox, Casey Barnes, Felicity Urquhart, Andrew Swift, The Davidson Brothers and some of the most exciting up-and-coming acts on the live scene today. The event will also feature a whip-cracking demonstration and line-dancing, as well as food trucks, a smokehouse barbecue, rides, market stalls and on-site bars.

Brothers Aidan and Rhett McLaren are the driving force behind the Goulburn Valley Country Festival. The duo run Red Hill Entertainment, which is also responsible for festivals such as Land Of Plenty and Inverloch Sounds of Summer. Aidan says the decision to launch a sister festival in the Goulburn Valley region was an easy one for their team and is something they are excited about. “We’ve got friends and family who live in the Goulburn Valley area, and for the last few years we’ve been fortunate enough to work on another music festival in Shepparton called Land Of Plenty,” he says. “This has allowed us to spend more time up that way and get to know a bunch of the locals and work with many local businesses. Our experiences across the board have been really positive and the region itself feels a bit like a hidden gem. There’s a lot of great things going on up that way and we’re excited to have an excuse to spend more time there.”

The line-up is modelled off this year’s sold-out Gippsland Country Music Festival’s bill. Already the brothers have been receiving incredible feedback to the festival from further afield than Gippsland, well before it has officially launched. “The response to the line-up has been amazing,” Aidan says. “We feel so lucky to be working with so many incredible artists all on the one line-up and I think the fact that it’s an all-Australian line-up has really resonated with people.”

It is no secret that COVID-19 has thrown a curveball of epic proportions into the live music sector. One of the inspirations behind launching the Goulburn Valley Country Festival was to start to give back to the communities that have supported the brothers in their live music pursuits over the years. “The past 18-months have been really tough for anyone in the events and music industry, and many other industries,” says Aidan. “People’s love of music definitely hasn’t gone away, and it feels like people are more excited now than ever to look forward to gathering together in beautiful locations, celebrating great music, and having a good old party. The fact that this also actively contributes to the return of a whole industry and people’s livelihoods is something we can all look forward to and be proud of. We’re looking forward to playing a part in bringing back some good times.”

The team have been diligent in setting COVID-safe guidelines in place for the festival. “Operationally, this will likely include dedicated COVID-safe Marshalls on-site, contact tracing processes, increased hand sanitiser stations throughout the event, social distancing measures and regular sanitisation and cleaning of event facilities, as well as regular health-reminder messaging, and more. If due to COVID-related restrictions, the event is unable to go ahead as planned, the event will be rescheduled to another date later in the year and all tickets will remain valid. In such an event, people requiring a refund will be able to do so.”

Something extra special for the 2021 Goulburn Valley Country Festival is the inclusion of the Goulburn Valley Local Country Showcase. Organisers are passionate about showcasing local music and giving up-and-coming musicians a stage. The performance slot will give three local artists the chance to perform up to three songs each on the big stage at the event. Applications will open shorty and will be limited to singer-songwriters who can demonstrate a strong local connection to the Goulburn Valley region. Details will be announced in the coming weeks.

Tickets for the inaugural Goulburn Valley Country Festival are available via pre-sale from 8.30am on Monday 19th April. General tickets go on sale from 8.30am on Wednesday 21st April 2021.

Sunday 31st October 2021 | 11am
Shepparton Showgrounds, SHEPPARTON VIC

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