THOUSANDS of music lovers flocked to Deniliquin at the weekend for the inaugural Deniliquin Blues and Roots Festival.
The two-day festival finished last night with performances from legendary US rock guitarist Carlos Santana, The Steve Miller Band and Status Quo.
The event has been so successful that organisers promised yesterday that it would return next year and beyond to the Deni Ute Muster site five kilometres from town.
Chugg Entertainment and Rob Potts Entertainment Edge staged the event in conjunction with the team behind the Deni Ute Muster, Deni Play on the Plains Festival Ltd.
Chugg spokesman Nick Chugg said more than 5000 people travelled from across Australia for the festival, run at the same time as the long-running Bluesfest at Byron Bay.
“It’s been going great,” he said.
“We had Chris Isaak, Tony Joe White and Bonnie Raitt all sitting out backstage on Saturday night having a drink around the fire,” he said.
Mr Chugg said the board members from Play on the Plains were “very impressed”.
“They were saying as well that just who could imagine those three sitting around having a chat in Deniliquin,” he said.
Mr Chugg said the event had gone so well because there was such an outstanding team behind it all.
“The guys who run the ute muster are fantastic. They really know what they’re doing,” he said.
“We have our team that we bring in too, so it’s been quite good.”
Mr Chugg said there had been a lot of excellent feedback from festivalgoers.
“Everyone loved Matt Brown, Chris Isaak actually jumped in the crowd to do a song and the vibe from the bands has been fantastic.
“And compared with Byron Bay, where it’s nice and wet up there, we’ve had just beautiful weather.”
Up to 300 people were involved in setting up and running the festival, including about 40 people from the Denili-quin area who helped put together the stages.
Mr Chugg said the festival had attracted an older, “very family orientated” crowd.