Festival topping charts

VANFEST's Matt Clifton says more than 5000 single day tickets sold in the first 10 days after they went on offer.

VANFEST's Matt Clifton says more than 5000 single day tickets sold in the first 10 days after they went on offer.

More than 5000 single day tickets have already been snapped up for VANFEST 2017 with manager Matt Clifton excited that this will be the event’s biggest year yet.

“In the first week to 10 days we are over 5000, about 1600 above where we have been in the past,” he said.

“And we still have more artist announcements to come.”

The key this year has been getting the names of artists out there early so people can plan their trip to Forbes.

It’s a destination event – putting Forbes on the map for many people – and it’s proving more popular each year. 

Clifton has received road trip stories from people who have travelled from Melbourne and Brisbane with their carload of mates.

“The day after we announced the dates, three or four motels phoned me to ask if we wanted our rooms again for this year as they were booked out,” he said.

This is the fourth year for VANFEST and Clifton says it’s growing in reputation as well as visitor numbers.

“When we first started three years ago … it’s a brand new event, nobody knows what’s going to happen, we’ve got a platform now where artists come to me,” he said. 

“Their agents call all year round and ask, how do we get on the line-up?”

“We are definitely making a mark for ourselves.”

Clifton made a point of polling social media followers to ind out who they would like to see on stage – then going out to the top nine artists on the list.

“It’s been labelled this year’s best boutique festival line-up,” Clifton said, highlighting incredible support from national broadcaster Triple J. 

While he reckons “there’s noone on that line-up you wouldn’t want to see”, Tash Sultarna and Amy Shark are among the names that have fans excited.

“Amy Shark has very limited show this year, she’s only doing two festivals – us and Falls, and Tash Sultana is incredible live,” Clifton said.

“The hip hop guys – Dune Rats, Thundamentals, Sancisoc … they are all entertaining, incredibly engaging with their audience.”

Clifton says the festival model is working, but they’re definitely looking for ways to keep improving.

They’re bringing in 200 tonnes of sand to recreate Bondi Beach again this year, with Bondi lifeguards returning in a bigger capacity.

“We’re putting a lot more time and energy into the campgrounds, creating pop-up community areas,” he said.

VANFEST 2017 is on December 1 and 2. Forbes Shire Council has signed a three-year lease with the event.