Popular Hartwood Festival Cancelled
Is this the end of an era?
After 27 years, the ever popular Hartwood Festival of Campfires and Country Music is to close. Paul and Hele McCloud, along with a large group of volunteers, have run the festival each Easter since 1988. They say that the time has come to pass things on to the next generation. The people who supported the festival over the years have been mainly the grey nomads. They have been such a pleasure to entertain and have always taken great pride in making sure there was no rubbish left around the camp-sites before going home after the event each year. Although the festival has been a local success story Paul says he and Hele want to do different things now in their retirement and the property is now being listed for sale.
The local Warrumbungle Council have imposed more stringent conditions on the future operation of the festival. However Paul is continuing negotiations with the Council in the hope of getting approval for the new Development Application, so that an incoming buyer could still either continue to run the festival or lease it out to another operator to run from 2016 and into the future. Paul has interested parties, who have indicated they would be happy to lease the site and keep the festival going, which would continue to be of great benefit to local businesses and the surrounding villages in the district.
Paul McCloud grew up on Hartwood, (which his father had bought in 1946), and attended Coolah Central School, leaving at age 13 to work on the farm. He released his first album in August 1982 and recorded a total of seventeen albums. Paul and Hele toured Australia extensively from 1980 until 2008, as well as running the Hartwood Festival each Easter. Paul’s father ran a very successful stud piggery on Hartwood during the 1970’s and 80’s and was also instrumental in getting the festival started.
Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of Trevor “Chalky” Chalk from the Sunshine Coast and his talent on the video camera plus many hours in the edit suite, people can still relive the memories of Hartwood, with a double DVD of the 2013 festival. Many of you who attended the 2013 festival will probably be able to see yourselves in the crowd shots.
Download a high resolution photo of Tom Maxwell at Hartwood 2014 suitable for use in print media (courtesy Lou Farina Fotos, Tamworth).