From Little Things Big Things Grow: Riverstock/DowntheRiver
After 10 years of exhilarating highs and devastating lows, mother nature being both cruel and kind and always live music, with all the friendship and fun it brings to a community event being at the forefront of why we worked so very hard all year to hold first Riverstock and then DowntheRiver on the magnificent River Murray bank at Moorook; we the committee have decided to have a break, a hiatus, get our lives back and do something different!
The decision certainly was not easy and was not without some tears but over several bubbles and beers we have put the decision down on paper. There are numerous reasons why this is happening this year; one we think ten years is a pretty good number for a handful of volunteers to have organised such an event, two after the 1 in 100 year hailstorm of 2016 knocking us around with no power for a night, we were looking for a well patronised DTR 2017 to go with the awesome music from Lazy Eye, Throwing Flowers, Littlefish, Off Shoot, Scnitzel Pak, Sole Traders and many more, we had fantastic weather, great pop up venue and not the numbers we would have liked.
As with the leasing out of the Moorook and District Club we feel that the Community may not be large enough or able to afford to sustain a Community Club or Event of this size. All funds from the volunteer run bar went to sustaining the club and this year towards paying the debts of the Moorook and District Club and we will now regroup to raise funds to pay the club debt. Of the 160 members of the Moorook and District Club in 2017, there was only a handful that volunteered and approximately a 15% attendance of members through the gate . We have had over the years many wonderful volunteers of committee members families and friends from Adelaide, Loxton, Kangaroo Island, Port Augusta, Cadell and locally.
We cannot thank enough the absolute and very generous support of our sponsors who have been such an important part of the past ten years and without your support the festival would not have been possible. Donated dollars along with the loan or donation of fencing, marquees, equipment, manpower, transport, food and drink the list is long and we are extremely thankful.
We have been lucky enough to have wonderful support from the local CFS, Moorook Primary School, Riverland and local sporting clubs, scouts, army cadets and many individuals over the years who by helping with just one element or many elements have made the festival a possibility and bought to our small town thousands of tourists, musicians and their friends and families who would never have known where Moorook and it’s beautiful Riverfront was.
To the volunteer committee; what a ride we have had from the highs of winning Awards and Competitions to the lows of Mother Nature and small town politics, we have always enjoyed the eclectic range of Live Music presented and the friendly festival atmosphere that we have bought to the Riverland; Scallie with her awesome artistic talent and dedicated attitude, Toni with her dedicated team of volunteers in the Bar and super sense of fun, Colleen behind the scenes organising grants, sponsorship and the tonne of paperwork that a festival requires, Lance for ten years of ‘making it happen’ with sound and power, Greg whose family community spirit and logic we could not do without; Mason who generously wrote two websites and handled our social media and online ticketing, Jarrod, Terril and everyone who has had a hand over the years, ‘Thank You!’
Finally but not least are the wonderful attendees of our festival who have been attending; either every November or twice a year for MooRok in June as well. Marguerite (Dancing Queen), Julie and the Broken Hill/Roxby Downs crew, Al and Kev who have been there since day one and have done a power of work over the years and been so supportive you are all Riverlander’s to us and we thank you for the fun you had and bought to us every year.
In closing, if the community rallied and were keen for the event to continue on you never know what may happen! We went to an awesome concert recently which only enforced to me how fantastic LIVE music is! Paul Kelly; and as ‘Paul’ said it’s nearly Christmas, who’s making the GRAVY, it won’t be the same………..