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Great Southern Blues Festival To “Pull Up Stumps” After 2015

The long-running New South Wales south coast festival Great Southern Blues has announced its 2015 event will be its last, after what promoter Neil Mumme describes as “a most difficult year” for the Narooma festival.

In a statement posted to the Great Southern Blues Festival website, Mumme says, “After 17 years of challenges, hard work, fun and with heavy hearts we have decided that this year’s ‘Narooma’ will be the last as we know it. We need to rethink how to present Narooma in the years ahead in many ways.”

Mumme, who has previously blamed Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s “unrelenting dialogue on terrorism” for lacklustre festival ticket sales, believes a number of issues have added to the difficulty of keeping Great Southern Blues Festival afloat.

“In what is proving to be a most difficult year the time seems right to pull up stumps on our current format,” he says.

“Expectations, the proliferation of festivals, compliance issues and most importantly a serious health issue for a Rhonda (Festival Administrator and my partner) are some of the forces behind us closing this door and exploring new ideas and options for ‘Narooma’ going forward.”

Mumme is keeping the door open for new formats for the event, though, saying, “To be totally honest I am feeling both sad and relieved at the decision we have made today, but am equally excited about the options going forward.” Read his full statement, below.

Great Southern Blues Festival 2015 is around six weeks away, and has “some really special things lined up” for its farewell. For more information about the October event, visit the Great Southern Blues Festival website.

Neil Mumme Statement ( Via Great Southern Blues Festival)

I take this opportunity to write to you and all our Narooma Members with a very important announcement.

After 17 years of challenges, hard work, fun and with heavy hearts we have decided that this years ‘Narooma’ will be the last as we know it. We need to rethink how to present Narooma in the years ahead in many ways.

When we started this event in 1996 I never envisaged it would grow to become one of the most respected and loved blues festivals in Australia but our success and future is being challenged in many ways.

In what is proving to be a most difficult year the time seems right to pull up stumps on our current format. Expectations, the proliferation of festivals, compliance issues and most importantly a serious health issue for a Rhonda (Festival Administrator and my partner) are some of the forces behind us closing this door and exploring new ideas and options for ‘Narooma’ going forward.

We have enjoyed great support from many very loyal patrons, artists, sponsors and staff over the years and you can be sure we will consult with all of them as we move forward developing our options.

To be totally honest I am feeling both sad and relieved at the decision we have made today, but am equally excited about the options going forward. We look forward to catching up with all our friends and supporters in a few weeks.

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