Flood of praise for stirling effort

Rueben HaleCountryman
Boyup Brook Country Music Festival regular Alan Cottingham from Perth.
Camera IconBoyup Brook Country Music Festival regular Alan Cottingham from Perth. Credit: Countryman

The Boyup Brook local community battled flooding rains to bring together the 33rd Boyup Brook Country Music Festival last weekend.

The annual event, which is held in the town that is regarded as WA’s Country Music Capital, was in jeopardy of facing a washout after last week’s downpours throughout many parts of the South West and beyond.

The festival, which officially kicked off last Wednesday with a welcome evening, not only offered performances from some of the country’s finest local and interstate talent, but also held poetry readings, bootscooting, art exhibitions, a ute muster and the much- coveted West Australian Country Music Award Presentations, as part of the five-day event.

Just days before headline act Lee Kernaghan was scheduled to play, relentless rain came within centimetres of flooding the main stage and rendering it unusable.

Organisers say if it had not been for the hard work of volunteers building flood barricades and organising two new stages in the last 24 hours before the festival, the event may have been cancelled.

Mr Kernaghan was none-the-wiser of the events leading up to his arrival on Saturday.

He said he was very excited to be part of the festival because it was a landmark year for his career, the 25th anniversary of the release of his first single The Boys From The Bush.

“I had not been told how close the rain came to destroying everything,” Mr Kernaghan said.

“What struck me when I arrived here was all of the signage with posters in every shop window and gates around the town that the festival promotes real Australian community spirit. St John Ambulance are here, plus a myriad of community volunteers are required to put something like this together. It’s inspiring and it makes me proud to be Australian.”

Organiser Carol Lander said it was unbelievable how the volunteers made the event happen.

“The shire and community worked together to supply machinery and barricading material to build a wall,” she said.

“Last Monday and Tuesday were very wet and everybody worked until very late to make sure the barricades were going to hold. We didn’t let Lee Kernaghan know about the troubles we were having because we were always confident we would be able to sort everything out in time for the show.”

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