Busily planning the Harbour Festival (from left) are: logistics manager Clare King, event co-ordinator Kathy Andrew, administration officer Jan Tully (standing) and Festivals and Events general manager Michelle Stafford.
Busily planning the Harbour Festival (from left) are: logistics manager Clare King, event co-ordinator Kathy Andrew, administration officer Jan Tully (standing) and Festivals and Events general manager Michelle Stafford. Derrick Den Hollander

Little respite for event planners

CHRISTMAS will be Gladstone’s next big event before Easter, but that doesn’t mean that Michelle Stafford and her team aren’t already hard at work planning for next year’s Harbour Festival.

Planning for the major festival is almost year-round so that the team from Gladstone Festivals and Events barely takes a break between the end of one festival and planning for next year’s event.

“When one finishes we just about start planning the next one,” said Michelle Stafford, general manager of Gladstone Festivals and Events.

“It takes a couple of weeks to clean up from the festival and then we consider what worked, what didn’t.

“We start straight away looking for entertainment – that takes a while.”

When The Observer caught up with Ms Stafford she was delighted to announce they had just secured Kate Ceberano and Carl Riseley (from Australian Idol) to play at the annual Jazz and Shiraz.

“She’s just lovely, really beautiful,” Ms Stafford said of Ceberano.

At this stage, the crew was also working on sending out sponsorship applications to secure sponsors for the annual event.

Next year’s Gladstone Harbour Festival will run from April 17 until April 24.

The Jazz and Shiraz event will wrap up the action-packed festival.

The two-week festival, held over Easter, is a highlight of the Gladstone entertainment calendar and features a host of popular attractions.

These events include the GLNG and Zinc talent quest and battle of the bands, the NRG great raft race, The Observer’s markets, the Junior Queen Quest, the Gladstone Regional Ambassador, entertainment galore, rides and the popular Jazz and Shiraz finale.



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