Moyston, Ararat gearing up for Pitch Festival 2019

Posted Thursday 28 February, 01:46pm

Local businesses and community groups are preparing for an super-busy weekend when more than 10,000 people from around the world descend on Mafeking for the annual Pitch Music and Arts Festival from March 8-11.

In its third year, the boutique music, arts, culture and camping event has a significant economic impact on the Ararat Rural City region economy, with the average spend in the local community $300 per person.

Council CEO Dr Tim Harrison said local businesses are now well versed in how to prepare for the weekend, with shops ensuring they ordered in extra supplies for the many visitors who stock up in Ararat before travelling to the festival site north-west of Moyston.

Dr Harrison said the festival itself spends around $300,000 in the local community.

“Pitch’s economic impact on the region is massive and it’s really great to see Ararat and Moyston so busy over the festival weekend,” he said.

“Aside from the direct spend, the festival also offers a community grants program each year that awards amounts from $500 to $5000 to local groups and organisations.

“The community barbecue food stall run at the festival makes an average of $40,000 over the weekend, and many of the people who attend, including international visitors, often stay and tour the region after the festival ends.”

Dr Harrison said Council staff have also been working closely with Pitch organisers to ensure the event’s emergency management and crowd control is adequate given the rise in numbers from last year.

The event includes entertainment from international and national performers including visual and installation artists, DJs and bands, as well as market vendors selling food, clothes and market wares.

Festival Director Daniel Teuma said local community groups running the barbecue include the Moyston-Willaura Football Netball Club, Moyston Primary school, Willaura Kindergarten and the Moyston CFA.

"We’re really looking forward to our third year of Pitch Music and Arts and being a part of the Moyston, Willaura and Ararat communities for those few special weeks during the preparation and the weekend of the festival,” Mr Teuma said.

“We continue to work with the community and all stakeholders to ensure the festival operates cohesively and in sync with everyone’s interests.

“The community has welcomed the festival, our staff and attendees with open arms and its heart-warming to see the positive impact the festival has in this beautiful part of Victoria.”