A date for Vanfest 2019

Scenes from Vanfest 2016.
Scenes from Vanfest 2016.

Vanfest is back!

The major music event will run in Forbes on May 10 and 11 in 2019.

Director and founder Matt Clifton says it will be big, but he’s keeping fans in suspense about just who will feature at the gig for just a little longer.

The announcement of the event date was made on social media on Thursday evening and the page’s 24,000 followers jumped on it. 

“The response has been incredible,” Clifton said.

“I’m trying to read thousands of messages (on social media).”

Some artist announcements could be made in the next couple of weeks, but could be held over until the new year when tickets will go on sale. 

The date has been shifted away from the November / December weekend it has been on since inception in 2014.

There’s a couple of reasons for that: in the event’s short history it’s twice copped major Spring storms – in 2017 the weather was so severe that the second day of the festival was cancelled and ticket holders refunded. 

But May also works in well on the music calendar: it’s close enough to Darwin’s Bass in the Grass and Groovin the Moo for international artists to be in Australia, but it is away from Canberra’s Spilt Milk.

So what’s been happening for Vanfest organisers since the 2017 event?

A lot of housekeeping, Clifton says, and building an understanding of how the event will run in future.

“Council has been very supportive,” he said. 

“Sometimes things take time.

“Doing it any time sooner would have been rushed.”

Scenes from Vanfest 2016.

Scenes from Vanfest 2016.

Negotations with the insurer due to the wash-out of day two took time, a 75 per cent refund for two-day ticket holders was announced in March.

Council outsourced an audit of the event, councillors received that and only in May looked at whether to hold the event a short six months later.

They made the decision to suspend Vanfest 2018, it’s been a wait for fans to hear about the future of the festival.