Clarence Valley Country Music Muster organiser Wendy Gordon prepares for the sea of chairs to be filled for the day's walk up performances.
Clarence Valley Country Music Muster organiser Wendy Gordon prepares for the sea of chairs to be filled for the day's walk up performances.

Popular Clarence event cancelled, despite being five months away

SHE’S had some of Australia’s biggest names in country music at her place. Beccy Cole, Adam Harvey, even the legendary Hank Williams’s daughter Jett, have all performed in Wendy Gordon’s big backyard. But for the first time in eight years, it’s going to be a quiet one on her property this October as the Clarence Valley Country Muster is put on ice until next year.

The usual affair that sees up to 1000 camper vans transform her empty paddocks into a small town is another victim of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic, a situation that Wendy said she couldn’t justify taking a chance with.

“We don’t know how long this virus is going to be around and all our people sit in such close proximity to each other, and with all the shared facilities we couldn’t see it working. Every time someone uses the toilet we would have to sanitise it. We also do our own food so you have to have a division between the register and the people and then space out the lines. It’s the same with the girls at the main gate. It wasn’t worth risking anyone’s health so we just decided to cancel it and resume where we’ve left off next October.”

Wendy said all the acts booked for 2020 will be back for next year’s Muster including headline act, the legendary piano man Jade Hurley.

Legendary piano man Jude Hurley was to headline the 2020 Clarence Valley Country Muster but after the event was cancelled has rescheduled for the 2021 event.
Legendary piano man Jude Hurley was to headline the 2020 Clarence Valley Country Muster but after the event was cancelled has rescheduled for the 2021 event.

“I feel for the musicians. A lot of them go week to week and depend on events like ours. It’s been a hard year for them.”

She said people also weren’t travelling this year and are also hurting financially so making the call early to cancel made sense.

“These circuit of festivals the travellers go to, everyone’s pulled out. It’s not just me. Ballina’s country music event follows mine so I called them and told them we’re not going ahead and they told me they were just about to pull theirs too”.

Wendy said cancelling the event wasn’t as stressful as she had anticipated because everyone had been so understanding.

“We already had 500 vans booked in and nobody has asked for their deposit back, they just said transfer us over for next year.

“So many people have been coming for so long, they get close to being like a family to me”, she said.

“They are all in the older age group too so we just don’t want anyone to get sick at all.

It would have been a good one this year but we’ll make it bigger and brighter next year.”

The Clarence Valley Country Muster is rescheduled for October 25-31, 2021.



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