Well the year certainly started off with a bang! A sellout crowd for Peter Horan and I at the Tamworth Town Hall during the Country Music Festival in January with just under one thousand people attending, then more sellouts at Orange, Forbes and then Hartwood, with over one thousand people attending for the second year in a row.
All the artists appearing at Hartwood were most grateful for the incredible support in relation to their CD sales again this year. Hank Koopman was so horrified at the cost of fuel on his way up from Tassie that he had considered cancelling his Queensland run. However, thanks to album sales at Hartwood, he was able to continue and apart from a hiccup with asthma on the Sunshine Coast he is doing fine on his way up to Rockhampton.
All the artists seemed to excel this year with the public really showing their appreciation. Again the camaraderie and consideration for fellow campers was most evident and the rubbish left on the ground was minimal, so thank you all for that. You are just an incredible group of people.
Chloe, the cat, ventured out of the caravan to say a quiet hello to a few people at Hartwood, but she is now over 18 years old and is having a battle keeping all her systems working. (She is the epitome of ‘life imitating art’ – referring to the 1991 release of The Constipated Cat!!) We are currently going through the trauma of deciding when enough is enough.
You will find the new CD titled Essential Collection listed on this site. This is a compilation album which features several new songs plus a selection of the most popular songs from four other albums which are being phased out. They are I Hear The Words of a Song, Special Moments, Up To My Heart, and A Gospel Christmas. Copies of all these CDs (except A Gospel Christmas) are still available but only while current stocks last.
As you can see by the Tour Dates, we have had to cancel our planned joint Riverina tour for this year. However, Peter and I plan to fit that in with the Victorian/South Aussie tour which is roughly scheduled to happen between May and October next year, 2007.
Hele’s son, Brian has opened his new restaurant, ‘Flamin’ Tongs’ at Whittlesea, north of Melbourne in Vic., so he will not be able to cater at Hartwood anymore. In future you may need to break out the old thermos and come more self-contained than usual. We plan to go back to just light lunches, tea, coffee, cold drinks etc. It has been a huge chore for Brian to prepare and serve the great variety of food that he has made available over the last few years and we wish him and Michelle well in their new venture. If you are out Whittlesea way, you might like to drop in for lunch.
Hele and I had planned a two week holiday following Hartwood, but due to Chloe being so fragile, we decided to make some day trips from Buderim so we could be home with her each night. One of those trips was to Gympie to catch the ‘Rattler’, a day trip on an old steam train running up the Mary Valley from Gympie to Imbil, with a lunch stop at the old Imbil Pub. A great day out … a pity to dam it!!
There is another great line up of artists again for Hartwood next year including Craig Giles, Dale Hooper, Cameron Mason, Vic Lanyon, Ian Quinn, Anita Ree, Stephen Cheney, Tom Maxwell and, all being well, Peter Horan and Paul McCloud will again be the official opening concert at 2pm on Good Friday 6th April. Gates open 9am on Monday 2nd April. Would the early birds please not camp on the Sunday night at the front gate, as this is our neighbour’s property.
Have a great year, safe travelling, and we’ll see you along the track.