Regional NSW events to receive funding to attract visitors from further afield

Featured Image: Danny Howe on Unsplash

Regional communities in New South Wales have been awarded funding from a programme that invests in, and helps to grow, local events. 

The NSW Government’s Regional Events Fund was launched in 1996 and has since funded more than 470 events.

Success stories for the fund include the Deni Ute Muster, which had originally taken place in response to hardship caused by drought in 1999. The annual event now attracts around 20,000 people. Elsewhere, the programme has also supported the Parkes Elvis Festival since 2004, which now attracts roughly 25,000 attendees and generates A$1.3m ($680,000/€800,000/$900,000) in revenue.

For 2024-25, a new selection of 66 music, sports, food and cultural events will be awarded grants of up to A$50,000 each.

By funding events, the programme will help to provide an economic boost for regional areas, create jobs, and support accommodation providers, restaurant owners and tourism operators.

Events set to receive funding include The Orange Wine Festival, a two-week wine and food ‘crawl’ through some of Australia’s most beautiful wineries and restaurants; The Festival of W, which sees Wagga Wagga turned into a winter wonderland with ice skating, live music and more; and The Gum Ball, a three-day festival that includes a line-up of live music and a kids programme.

The Regional Event Fund is managed by Destination NSW, which bolsters event organisers with equipment hire, venue hire, market research, photography, videography, publicity and marketing to attract out-of-region visitors.

“We know that regional events and event owners are faced with significant challenges in this current environment and these grants will help alleviate some of that financial pressure,” said Minister for Jobs and Tourism, Arts, Music and the Night-Time Economy John Graham.

“We want to help these events reach the heights of the Deni Ute Muster or the Parkes Elvis Festival, events that are now highlights of the NSW calendar. These unique events reflect the personalities of their communities and draw visitors from all over the country.”

Tara Moriarty, Minister for Agriculture, Regional New South Wales, Western New South Wales, added: “These events will bring fun, colour and a big economic boost to the towns that host them. Creating these unforgettable experiences will keep visitors coming back to regional New South Wales again and again, all year round.

“I congratulate the successful 66 recipients. These events will create great experiences for their local communities and drive vibrancy in local towns and communities across the state.”

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