THE fifth Sale Music Festival on Sunday attracted thousands to the beautiful Sale Botanic Gardens for a family friendly day of music and activities.
Early morning drizzle across the district initially threatened to put a dampener of the day, but when opening act Stothers and Otherz took the stage at 11am the crowd had begun to swell.
With sunshine breaking through after mid-day thousands of locals and visitors sought out vantage spots and shade across the lawns overlooking the LEAF sound stage to enjoy the free festival co-sponsored by the Gippsland Times.
Organising committee chairman David Harrington was thrilled with the crowds and the way the day turned out.
“Thrilled I would have to say, the weather has been kind to us and the acts have been terrific.
“We have tried to get a mix of acts, to present a variety of musical styles so that there is something for everyone, from children, teenagers to the older ones. It’s been sensational,” he said.
The sound production was noticeably improved on the earlier festivals with the natural amphitheatre of the gardens assisting the volunteer team managing the day’s music. A capella group Drums of War had the younger audience joining in their infectious beats and rap, while singer storyteller Michael Waugh proved popular, the lyrics of his songs bringing a tear to many eyes.
Bad Bait had the crowds dancing during their upbeat rock set and by the time headline act Harry Hookey took the stage the crowd had swelled to its peak.
“The sound management is best we have had,” Mr Harrington said, “and we have been happy with the way the local service clubs have been able to set up and provide food and drinks.”
He explained the organising committee had deliberately kept the catering side of the event for the service clubs and not-for-profit groups so it remained a community event rather than a commercial venture.
“It’s been great to see people enjoying the music and the kids running around having fun,” he said
The free children’s activities provided distraction and entertainment for large numbers of youngsters, with the self made musical instruments being put to use during the afternoon.
Mr Harrington said the committee was ecstatic with the way the day had developed and looked forward to being able to present a similar mix of local talent next year.