BETWEEN the controversy leading up to Woolgoolga's Curryfest and torrential rain, numbers for this year's event were almost half that of last year.
Event manager Kelvin Harris said 5000 people braved the inclement conditions and the mud, compared with more than 10,000 last year.
Mr Harris worked as a volunteer after his company, Woopi Entertainment, was forced to resign last week when it fell victim to a campaign by Coffs councillor and Woolgoolga businessman John Arkan.
Mr Harris said the former would-be politician launched an attack on plans to have the Curryfest, previously run voluntarily by the Woolgoolga Chamber of Commerce, organised by a "for profit" organisation.
He referred to emails from Mr Arkan in which he made several demands or he would have the Sikh community boycott the festival, potentially leaving the Curryfest without a butter chicken in sight.
As it turned out Woopi Entertainment may have inadvertently dodged a financial bullet by resigning as the organising stakeholder; a turnout of 5000 instead ensuring a significant loss for the chamber.
Undeterred, the Chamber of Commerce this week made a commitment to again stage Curryfest next year.