CMC ROCKS: Festival hits, misses and what to change for 2019
IT'S NO secret Australia's biggest country music festival was an economic boost for Ipswich but a new report reveals accommodation was in very hot demand, along with some areas to improve for next year.
Almost 20,000 tickets were sold to the three-day CMC Rocks Festival held at Willowbank last month - more than triple the sales recorded in 2011.
The event showcased Ipswich to the world and even included a dramatic stage appearance from Mayor Andrew Antoniolli who skolled a beer from his own boot, known as a 'shoey'.
Now, after surveying accommodation providers, Ipswich City Council has released new figures showing 2064 room nights were booked in Ipswich as a direct result of the festival, featured in this month's council committee meetings.
Cafes and restaurants, along with things to do in the region, were spruiked by the council's tourism arm and an early assessment shows strategic marketing in southern states has boosted ticket sales.
The economic boost to the local economy has been estimated at $10 million.
The publicity and promotional value of CMC Rocks is still being measured, this month's council Libraries and Tourism Committee meeting agenda states.
Ipswich has secured the festival for another four years and although this year's event was considered a success, areas to improve have also been identified.
Within the committee report, council officers suggested extending the bus service an additional 1.4kms to "allow seamless hop-on service from Ipswich Central to Willowbank Raceway".
Rain caused issues in the extended camping area, rendering it unusable.
Council officers have suggested undertaking additional works to better prepare the grounds for next year.
Buses also caused damage to bitumen at Queensland Raceway, used to support campers.
As part of the post event analysis, the council has identified an opportunity to develop a pre-event program to attract visitors to other parts of Ipswich and support local, budding musical talent.
Libraries and Tourism Committee Chair Cr David Pahlke said Ipswich was earning a reputation as the new Byron Bay, off the back of hosting the festival.
"CMC Rocks is now the largest country music festival in the country," he said.
"There was a 41 per cent increase in tickets sold in 2018 and all the tickets were sold out in an hour. Interestingly, more than half of the ticket holders came from outside Queensland.
"This is a great partnership between Ipswich City Council and Tourism Queensland to secure this event for the next four years.
"I strongly urge the community to get involved. If you have not gone to a CMC Rocks festival, buy your tickets for next year as soon as they are available as it has become a fabulous, must-see event.
"With more festivals coming to Ipswich, we are earning a reputation as the new Byron Bay, providing some great music and entertainment for a large cross section of the community."
CMC Rocks will remain in Ipswich until at least 2022.
Areas of improvement identified for future events
- Translink bus service currently terminates at Cooper Road. The ability to extend the bus service an additional 1.4kms would allow seamless hop-on service from Ipswich Central to Willowbank Raceway.
- The new extended camping area was unusable because of rain which identified challenges with the undulating ground (not graded). The current lease ends in 2018 and simultaneously additional works is required to have the grounds prepared for future events including CMC Rocks QLD.
- Queensland Raceway were supportive in hosting campers at their facility to support extended camping but the damage caused by buses to a portion of the road identified poor concrete bitumen.
- There is an opportunity to develop a pre-event program to attract visitors into other parts of Ipswich and support local talent to participate in future CMC Rocks QLD events.
Source: Ipswich City Council, Libraries and Tourism Committee Agenda, April 16.