A small part of the caravan city at Wendy Gordon's Calliope property for the Clarence Valley Country Music Muster.
A small part of the caravan city at Wendy Gordon's Calliope property for the Clarence Valley Country Music Muster. Adam Hourigan Photography

Calliope turns into caravan city for country muster

IN 2013, Wendy Gordon looked across the 26 acres of her Calliope property, and had a feeling she could do something for the community.

"You know how you envisage something?" she said.

"I knew we could do something here and give back to the community, doing something I was familiar with."

The Clarence Valley Country Music Muster was born.

Clarence Valley Country Music Muster organiser Wendy Gordon prepares for the sea of chairs to be filled for the day's walk up performances.
Clarence Valley Country Music Muster organiser Wendy Gordon prepares for the sea of chairs to be filled for the day's walk up performances. Adam Hourigan

Now in it's fourth year, Ms Gordon says she often double takes driving down the entrance to her property and seeing over 500 caravans line her paddock.

"I treat them special. It's like a friendship with everyone around," she said.

"I try to greet everyone as they come in, and in the afternoons when you drive around you can hear all the laughter and there's people together. It's just lovely."

The event started on Monday, with walk-up artists entertaining crowds that brought their own camp chairs under the specially constructed shed and stage.

 

A small part of the caravan city at Wendy Gordon's Calliope property for the Clarence Valley Country Music Muster.
A small part of the caravan city at Wendy Gordon's Calliope property for the Clarence Valley Country Music Muster. Adam Hourigan Photography

The organised entertainment will begin Friday, with this year's headline act, Adam Harvey, performing on Saturday and Sunday night, something which Ms Gordon says will create a lot of day-pass interest.

"Adam has a very big following, and we've known him since he was 19 and watched him grow over the years," she said.

"But we had 1500 on our main day here last year, and we're expecting very strong numbers again."

Ms Gordon said that people travelled to the event from all over the country, and the benefits to the local area were immediate.

"They travel around everywhere," she said.

"We schedule the walk-ups on these first days in the afternoon so they can rip around in the morning, and they go everywhere and spend money in the community."

And the planning never stops, with next year's festival to feature not only Australian country star Tania Kernaghan, but Jett Williams, daughter of country music legend Hank Williams, flying from the US to perform her tribute show to her famous father. "I'm always trying to think of what to do next," Wendy said.

"But for now it's just a big family here, and when they go home and I look over the empty paddock it'll be a bit like an empty nest."



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