Second edition of Fair Dinkum fest to double first effort

BOB Vickers and his daughter Jenny Gray have travelled 10,000km across the countryside in the past 12 months to promote this week's Grafton Fair Dinkum Country Music Roundup which began unofficially at the Grafton Showground today.

The pair have attended just about every country music event on the calendar on their mission and as Bob said yesterday: "somebody's got to do it".

Judging by the masses of campervans already at the site and steady flow of grey nomads arriving yesterday, it appears that Bob and Jenny have found their market.

There is no apologies for the twang in the music, Bob said, in fact - the "traditional" format was the main drawcard.

"American music is accepted but artists are encouraged to do their own music or cover Australian artists," he said.

The "fair dinkum" tag also lends itself to bush poetry and a number of notable bards will be appearing in coming days including the Clarence Valley's own Bill Kearns.

The event, which is now in its second year, officially gets under way on Thursday with an opening ceremony by Clarence Valley Mayor Richie Williamson at 11am, but the balladeers are already in full throw with plenty of "walkups" showing off their talents to modest crowds.

"There are already more people here now than there were for the whole roundup last year," said Mr Vickers.

Though numbers were hovering about 70 this morning morning, Bob said he expected about 100-200 people to turn up in coming days.

"I am excited," said the former Grafton businessman.

Entry to the event today and tomorrow is free, but a charge of $15 per day will apply for Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Four-day passes available for $45 and all tickets can be purchased at Buckley's Music, Grafton or at the gate.

 Profits from the event will be split evenly between performing artists and the Clarence Pastoral and Agricultural Society which is the custodian body of the Showground.



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