Community vows to keep Agnes blues festival alive

A GROUNDSWELL of community support will keep Agnes Water's iconic Blues and Roots Festival alive.

That's the view of Discovery Coast Tourism and Commerce which is vowing to make sure the event continues in February next year, despite the Gladstone Regional Council washing its hands of it.

For the past few years the festival has been run by the Gladstone Entertainment Centre, but it has decided to drop the event and focus on more shows based on the centre itself.

But DCTC members are having none of it.

>> Businesses will suffer if blues festival doesn't go ahead

The group has grand plans to organise the festival itself, and planning is well under way.

Events committee coordinator Gassan Sangari told The Observer there was no way the community would let the festival fail.

"Our committee met this week and we are all 150% behind the project," he said.

"We want to keep it going - it's an essential part of life in Agnes Water - and its economic benefit to our community cannot be lost.

"Musicians are being contacted as we speak, and we are now looking for grants and sponsorship."

Mr Sangari said the festival would go ahead "no matter what".

"Our plan is to get two big name acts each night for Friday and Saturday nights and offer some great music during the day each day," he said.

The festival is likely to be held a week earlier next year so that it doesn't clash with the longboard classic, which was held on the same weekend this year.

Mr Sangari said the committee was looking for sponsorship and grants of around $100,000 to secure bands for the show, and it's hoping the council might also be able to help with some funding.

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