Organsiers are hailing a successful Spring Migration despite lower than expected numbers.
The economic downturn and extended length of the event have been blamed for the turnout, however, numbers are still up on last year’s event.
Around 3200 revellers turned out for the nine-day regional gay and lesbian festival. Spring Migration organiser Gary Hayward told Sydney Star Observer he was pleased with the event, but ruled out an extended format for next year.
“Because of the success of the festival last year, the gay community said it wanted more to do, but they didn’t come out and support that. We won’t be doing a nine-day festival again,” he said.
“But we all had a really great time, our numbers are well up on last year, so we’re happy.”
The festival received widespread coverage in Southern Star and Sydney Star Observer, JOY94.9, The Age, and regional television station Prime, among others.
Hayward said the Beechworth and Yackandandah legs of the tour proved most successful, with highest numbers attending the La Luna dance party and more than 1000 people at the farmers market.
A night at Albury’s Zed Bar was a surprise success with hundreds turning up to meet the local gay and lesbian group, Hume Phoenix.
La Luna dance party in Beechworth attracted around 400 people which Hayward said was about half the anticipated number. He said the unexpected success of the Albury night — which shared Vanessa Wagner as the headline act — may have swallowed the dance party crowds.
Some legs of the festival — including Lake Hume and Falls Creek — registered little interest .
The festival is supported by local business sponsors. Hayward said although the financial count has not been completed, last year’s leftover profit would stave off any debts.
Country Awareness Network executive officer Adam Wright said he was pleased with CAN’s festival trivia event which raised hundreds of dollars for the WayOut rural youth program and marked the launch of a three-year program to improve gay men’s health in rural areas.

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