Music in the Park, a string to Kiama's bow

Event supporter Kiama councillor Warren steel and organiser Charlie  D’Amico when the gigs were launched. Picture: DYLAN ROBINSON

Event supporter Kiama councillor Warren steel and organiser Charlie D’Amico when the gigs were launched. Picture: DYLAN ROBINSON

THE popular Music in the Park concert events are set to return to Kiama, following an extended trial period.

At its May 2013 meeting, council approved the trialling of three music events in Hindmarsh Park. 

These events took place in September, October and November, organised by sound engineer Charlie D’Amico. 

Mr D’Amico was paid $600 per event for planning, co-ordinating and providing professional sound for each event. 

Musicians received no payment for their participation.

At its December 2013 meeting, council approved the extension of the trial sessions for a further three months, with a review of the project to be undertaken during that time. 

Audience and business surveys were undertaken during the February session.

A total of 41 per cent of audience respondents stated they had come into town specifically for the event. 

“Conversations held with audience members during the collection of the surveys revealed that many out of town visitors had decided to extend their stay in town due to the Music in the Park session,” council’s report said. 

The top five genres of preferred music by all respondents were jazz and blues, folk, rock, classical and indie. 

At Tuesday night’s meeting, councillors voted on whether to continue the Music in the Park sessions, while considering some conditions.

They resolved that event co-ordination and sound be advertised for expressions of interest.

A budget allocation of $850 per month would be provided as an appearance fee for performers, in addition to payment for sound engineer. 

Sound levels would be monitored, heavy rock and metal genres would not be included in session line-ups, and sessions would take place between June and December. 

With no budget currently allocated for 2014/15, funds would need to come from Events & Festivals budget.

Deputy Mayor Neil Reilly was pleased with the news.

“For an area like Kiama, and an area that has such beauty and amenity for tourists, this just adds another string to that bow,” he said. 

For an area like Kiama, and an area that has such beauty and amenity for tourists, this just adds another string to that bow. - Kiama council deputy mayor Neil Reilly

“I think that with the Jazz and Blues Festival and the Folk by the Sea, this just adds another dimension to the cultural attractiveness of Kiama.”

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