Except for a few concerts with Peter Horan this year, I have remained pretty much retired from the concert circuit, putting my energies into the Hartwood Festival and neglected repairs and maintenance around the home.

Following the last Hartwood festival held in April 2009, we received a directive from the local Warrumbungle Council that we would not be allowed to hold next year’s event without first lodging a development application and gaining council approval. Hence the delay in getting the information up on the web site for next year. However after some months of negotiations, on-site inspections, plan drawing and environmental impact statements etc we have finally got all the paperwork under control and the 2010 festival will be held on April 2, 3 and 4, 2010.

This all began following a discussion I had on the Thursday prior to last Easter with the Director of the Greater Western Area Health Department in Dubbo after some people attended the hospital there for various reasons during the lead up to last year’s festival. This apparently alerted the Department to the existence of our event, who then felt the need to exert their authority and have some input in to what should and should not happen at Hartwood.

Hele and I are now at that point whereby we feel the stress of running the festival with all the modern day rules and regulations is becoming too much for us, so over the next couple of years we will be endeavouring to find a buyer for the property who will also be interested in keeping the festival going.

We do, however, have a great line up of artists for next Easter and I’m sure it will be another unforgettable festival with lots of laughs and friendships, and we look forward to catching up with you all again.

The late great Stan Coster said to me in 1992, “Paul, one day the Hartwood Festival will be the most popular event on the Country Music Calendar in Australia”. I think you were right, Stan.