Surfing the Coldstream: Yamba?s festival of the thong
By Toby Walker
The heat of a long summer had just begun to wane when around 40 people gathered for drinks and nibbles at an out-of-the-way function room at the Yamba Bowling Club to hear Dom Ferry pitch his vision for the Clarence Valley's newest festival.
Surfing the Coldstream, as it would come to be known, would be the Clarence region's first arts/fringe festival aimed at bringing an 'on-the-edge' feel to Yamba through an eclectic roster of talented artists and performers.
Ever the entertainer, Mr Ferry's detailed vision for the festival left people tingling with excitement and the knowledge that they were witnesses to the start of something special.
Six months and countless meetings later, the committee formed to make Surfing the Coldstream a reality is busy behind the scenes scouring every facet of the festival to ensure nothing is overlooked at the last minute.
As Dom told his fellow committee members on Wednesday night at their third last meeting before the festival kicks off on October 22, 'we've only got one shot at this'.
Everything from whether there's enough power supply for stallholders to the content of the planned television commercials was discussed.
The committee's marketing co-ordinator, Denise Patten, confirms posters have gone up in Lismore, Coffs Harbour and some have even made it to Sydney.
Treasurer and the ArtWalk coordinator, Melinda Gibbs, goes through the current list of bookings for the Australian-first ArtWalk planned to line Coldstream Street.
Music program and stage co-odinator, Gary Brisbane, puts a suggestion forward before jotting down yet another task to add to his ever-growing 'to-do' list. There is no doubt the festival is ready to deliver something special for the people of Yamba ? and indeed the rest of the Clarence Valley's 51,000 or so people.
But as Wednesday's meeting came to a close, Dom's cheeky comments to his committee members came laced with sobering reality.
"From now on the pressure is going to just keep on increasing exponentially. Your lives are officially on hold for the next two weeks."