Surfing the Coldstream will not go ahead this year
DESPITE the growing popularity of Yamba's Surfing the Coldstream festival, it will not go ahead this year.
Live Prawn Production's Phil Nicholas, who has directed the annual music and culture event for the past three years, said he was proud of what the festival had achieved but its growth was no longer sustainable as a free event.
"Coldstream has been an incredibly fun event and the kind of festival I'd want to go to; I don't think you could do a free festival any better," he said.
"(It has) been really successful both in terms of the events, and in terms of getting consistency in operation and set up so it wasn't too impacting on volunteers," he said.
"But it still relies, as a free event, on a large amount of volunteer input. It's not really the case that many hands make light work on something like this.
"I'm sad it relies on that model because it's really labour intensive, but that's the reality."
Following the announcement, Mr Nicholas thanked everyone who had been involved in the well-supported event since it began nine years ago.
"We really focused on building strong relationships with our sponsors, and we are really grateful for the support that local businesses and Clarence Valley Council has given us," he said.
So now, the big question is what's next for Live Prawn Productions?
The not-for-profit group has confirmed they intend to renew their license to operate the Yamba River Markets for another year, and are already working on several other projects.
"I guess the question we're asking is what would benefit the community in the future and what's the best way to deliver on that?" Mr Nicholas said.
"It's our goal to look at how we can actually develop the markets. It already has a cultural element and is the biggest market in the Clarence Valley, and I think that can be grown in a sustainable way to rival Bellingen and Bangalow.
"The other thing LPP has going for it is the audience. Our mailing list grown enormously over last three years, and we have a big Facebook following."
Mr Nicholas said this gave them the ability to put on interesting events with some sense of security.
Last year the Coldstream Festival was one of four events they put together. Others included an Australian film premiere in Maclean, and the Secret Garden party at Yamba's Leche cafe.
An annual general meeting at the Wooleweyah Hall from 6pm on March 8 will hopefully give the association some new direction, Mr Nicholas said.
"That's where we invite people to bring their take on the decision - what would they do if they had an association that has a reliable revenue source and set up to return something into the community through arts and culture events?"
All committee positions are also up for renewal, with applications welcomed.
"We like music and to hang out with friends and that's what association is about."