Entertainment

Riverboats proves to be a class act at industry awards — again

By Kimberley Price

HAVING brought some of Australia’s greatest musical talents to the banks of the Murray, David Frazer and the rest of his Riverboats team have struck gold — again — at the RACV Victorian Tourism Awards.

For the second year running Riverboats Music Festival has secured gold in the events and festivals category.

The Murray River’s premiere contemporary music event outperformed seven other high-calibre events and festivals to secure top honours.

Now, the festival is automatically nominated for the National Award, which will be held in February.

Festival director David Frazer said he was ‘‘incredibly proud’’ of his team after they received the award.

‘‘It’s a big process to apply for the award. It requires a 12,500 word application,’’ he said.

‘‘The award is a root to branch look at the operation of the event — from advertising to back of house to what you see on stage.

“We were absolutely thrilled to once again receive such a prestigious statewide award, particularly given the outstanding calibre of entrants. To receive such positive industry recognition for Riverboats says a lot about how far the festival has come in the past eight years.

‘‘There’s always another festival and we’re up against all of them.

‘‘But I think this award further puts Riverboats on the map.’’

The RACV Victorian Tourism Awards honours the very best in excellence, innovation and commitment in the state’s tourism and events industry, promoting the “Best In State” operators running high quality businesses in regional areas as well as Melbourne.

With the 2019 festival just around the corner, this award adds confidence for the team in preparation for what’s set to be a phenomenal weekend of music on the river.

‘‘When I started the festival I didn’t really know what I was doing,’’ David said. ‘‘It’s such a process and a learning experience every year.

‘‘We work with the artists for 12-18 months in advance.

‘‘It can be quite isolating working in the little Riverboats bubble all year so it feels quite humbling to be validated in a room with all our peers.’’

As always, the festival team has worked tirelessly to ensure Riverboats encompasses all that Echuca-Moama offers.

‘‘The lineup is just one component,’’ David said.

‘‘From the surveys we’ve collated, 100 per cent said they would recommend Riverboats to others and the average festival go-er is staying in the town for three nights, including the Sunday night, which is just great.’’

The music festival returns to our twin towns from February 15 - 17.

With a lineup including The Waifs, Tex Perkins, Mark Seymour and The Undertow, Augie March and our very own Benny Walker, David Frazer has gone above and beyond to continue the excellence in, what is for many far and wide, a staple in the festival calendar. In 2019, not only can the audience expect an upgraded and spectacular light and sound show, Riverboats has also teamed up with Green Music Australia. For the first time Riverboats will be completely bottle-free.

‘‘I think our lineups have gotten really interesting over the years,’’ David said.

‘‘They’re all very eclectic and this year there is a whole array of world-artists.

‘‘We’ve really made an effort to be mindful to lower our footprint this year.

‘‘I think all festivals have a huge role to play in that respect.

‘‘The capacity for the event remains the same, so let’s just hope the weather is kind to us again.’’

■Weekend passes to the 2019 Riverboats Music Festival have now sold out with only a few day passes left.

Head to riverboatsmusic.com.au for more information and your last chance to purchase tickets to this unmissable event.