The Strawberry Fields Festival returns to Tocumwal this weekend and once again Berrigan Shire residents are invited to attend for half price.
To be held on the same Lower River Rd property as previous years, the camping, music and arts festival is expected to attract about 6000 people from Thursday to Sunday.
Shire residents 18 and older who show identification to prove residency in Tocumwal, Finley, Berrigan or Barooga will only need to pay $150 at the gate to enjoy it all.
However, Thursday entries are restricted to those who have secured an early car pass, which were designed to reduce traffic build-up on Friday.
Strawberry Fields Festival director Tara Benney said the half-price ticket offer was designed to both thank the community for its support and give locals a chance to see what the event was all about.
‘‘It’s been a huge two weeks building out here and we really think this is going to be the best show we have ever put on,’’ she said.
Now in its ninth year, the festival is expected to feature more than 150 local and international musicians, who will play across several stages.
Headline acts include former Cobram local Courtney Clarke (aka CC:DISCO!) and iconic Australian band Yothu Yindi, 26 years after the release of their massive hit Treaty.
Ms Benney said art was as important to Strawberry Fields as the music, with artists from around the world working on large-scale installations.
‘‘After three years on this property I think we have finally nailed the layout and the quality of the art has really been taken to the next level,’’ she said.
There will also be a market village and food vendors serving up everything from Mexican and Japanese delicacies to freshly blended smoothies and yoghurt, coffee and chai.
Locals are also invited to a community barbecue at the site today from 5.30pm to 8pm, which Tocumwal Foreshore Committee president Ross Bodey encouraged people to attend.
‘‘I think Strawberry Fields is very good for Tocumwal and the surrounding area,’’ Mr Bodey said.
‘‘And for young people, if you’re going to have a venue for such a festival that facilitates music, expression and art and all the safety procedures the way they do — I think that’s excellent.
‘‘Strawberry Fields is good economically for Tocumwal, and for those going to the free community barbecue tonight, by all means have a look at what the actual story is, but don’t criticise with no knowledge.’’
●For more information about the festival, visit: www.strawberry-fields.com.au