Shepparton Festival finishes on a high

By Tara Whitsed

Shepparton Festival’s creative director is encouraging the community to start thinking of ideas for next year’s event after a successful program.

Jamie Lea said they were thrilled with this year’s event, which wrapped up on Sunday at Gin on the Lawn in Murchison.

‘‘Shepp Fest is my favourite time of the whole year,’’ she said.

‘‘Seeing some people that might not usually engage in events all year but they come out of the woodwork during Shepp Fest.

‘‘It’s a safe space for creativity.’’

This year’s event saw a different look team with Ms Lea taking over as creative director and Louise Tremper as manager.

‘‘It’s been a huge team effort; without the team it wouldn’t work,’’ she said.

‘‘We certainly came in all guns blazing and that’s really normal and that shows growth and development; as we continue to evolve and change and grow together I think the future of the festival is really bright.’’

Ms Lea said the organisers encouraged all feedback and appreciated constructive criticism.

‘‘We’ve got a survey that will go out to the community soon,’’ she said.

‘‘The Shepparton Festival is exactly that — it’s Shepparton’s festival, so we love giving people the opportunity to contribute in many ways.’’

Ms Lea said this also meant starting to think about expressions of interest for next year’s event.

‘‘2020 is already in the early stages of planning and as always the EOIs will go out on the website,’’ she said.

‘‘The festival itself is always interested and supportive of everyone and anyone putting in EOIs; when they are announced it’s always such a magical and interesting time to see what people are thinking.

‘‘I would encourage everyone to think about it now; anybody feeling the buzz and the vibe should start that pre-planning now.’’