Success puts festival on the map

March 21, 2017

Its a wrap: Georgia Odgers, Jamie Lea, festival chair Fiona Smolenaars, festival director Ros Abercrombie, Leigh Findlay and Amanda McCulloch.

The Shepparton Festival delighted and amazed people from across the Goulburn Valley and further afield this month.

Starting on Friday, March 3, and finishing on Sunday, March 19, the 21st festival included a wide array of events focused on everything from poetry to food, performance, art exhibitions and even horror.

The festival’s theme was all about mapping Greater Shepparton and showing people the many things the region had to offer.

Festival director Ros Abercrombie said when it came to creating a theme for the multi-arts festival, it was all about developing something that was inclusive to everyone but also allowed for artistic creativity.

‘‘You can be a bit playful ... but it needs to make sense to the overall festival,’’ she said.

Ms Abercrombie said mapping could be applied to many art forms such as scripts and plots and it was amazing to see how many events continued to build upon the theme across the entire festival.

Groups such as La Trobe University’s Writers in Action played a key role in recording the festival and Ms Abercrombie said they were able to bring another level of mapping to their projects. Similarly, the Artist in Residence project was also able to do this.

Ms Abercrombie said overall organisers were thrilled with the festival and the level of engagement from the community which embraced new and familiar events.

People also made an effort to come and visit Greater Shepparton from Melbourne and other regional and rural towns.

Many people participated in workshops or music events.

With the festival officially closing on Sunday night, the committee will now turn its attention to next year’s event.

But for Ms Abercrombie, the latest festival has been one worth remembering.

‘‘It was really good. I had a fantastic time,’’ she said.

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