Written by Chris Kaloustian
The new dates for the Tamworth Country Music Festival (TCMF) fall directly on the same days as Parke’s annual Elvis festival, with Parkes Mayor Ken Keith calling the decision to move it to those dates disappointing.
TCMF will be taking place from April the 18th, until the 24th, while Parkes' Elvis Festival takes place from the 20th to the 24th.
The two festivals are now clashing, and share a significant tourist crossover, making this a major issue for all involved.
Mayor Keith said a lot of the disappointment comes from the Parkes Shire Council having consistently taking the Tamworth Country Music Festival into account when planning for the Parkes Elvis Festival.
Keith also said that if the dates are not changed, the council will investigate political avenues.
Tamworth Mayor Russell Webb has responded in a statement to the criticism from Parkes Council.
“I totally understand the disappointment from Parkes that the Elvis Festival and our event overlap but unfortunately it simply could not be avoided,’’ Mayor Webb said.
Webb continued, saying while both festivals will run at the same time this year, both will be a success for each community.
Mayor Keith has now clarified his comments on seeking political avenues, speaking with this station.
“The tourism arm of the State Government would be disappointed that those festivals are clashing because they promote and help subsidise … I think they would’ve like to have seen separate times” he said.
Keith continued saying “having spoken to Russell Webb about the dates … there’s no sense putting political pressure on because council are locked in now.”
It seems as if Tamworth Regional Council’s approach of “A little less conversation” has left Parkes with no choice but to accept both festivals will go ahead simultaneously.
Regardless of what dates TCMF fall upon, the decision to move the festival was going to be met with criticism, both from Tamworth residents/businesses, and those abroad.