Festival is revving up

LIVE music performances, art exhibitions and gourmet food markets – these are some of the events on offer to visitors in early September during the Grafton Chamber of Commerce and Industry's inaugural Grafton Music and Arts Festival.

The festival will run from September 8 to 11. It coincides with a leg of the World Rally Championships being held near Coffs Harbour and will highlight the town and provide a boost for local business.

The chamber, with help from tourism students from Grafton TAFE, has co-ordinated local businesses and tourism operators to hold simultaneous events over the four days.

Chamber executive officer James Patterson said the festival was designed to be a low-cost, high-profile way to highlight Grafton to the thousands of tourists expected to flock to the North Coast for the rally.

Since pitching the idea earlier this year, the response from the business, tourism and hospitality communities had exceeded expectations and the chamber had been able to put together a cracker of a program.

Among the highlights is Aussie rockers Mental as Anything, who will play a free show at the Grafton District Services Club on Friday, September 9.

The band will join a diverse selection of live music acts playing around the city during the festival.

Art and cuisine aficionados will be well catered for with several art exhibitions and also the Gate to Plate Gourmet Markets slated for Sunday, September 11.

A link to the full program can be found online at graftonchamber.org.au. Mr Patterson said an amended version would be uploaded early next week to reflect slight changes to the schedule.

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