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Big Chill Festival draws crowd of thousands from near and far

Civic Park transformed into a sea of people over the weekend as locals and travellers from as far as Tasmania and Western Australia lined up to attend this year’s Big Chill Festival.

Approximately 3300 tickets were sold for the event and 200 children came along with their families to experience a weekend sampling local craft beers and boutique wines, listening to a line-up of stellar music, and enjoying the abundance of food and barbecue-related produce.

Armidale Regional Council Mayor Sam Coupland said the event was another huge success and Council has received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from local community members and attending vendors.

“The event has been a huge draw card for locals and it’s becoming quite the attraction for tourists, with 30 percent of ticket sales purchased from visitors outside the Armidale region.

Festival-goers came from near and as far as Queensland, Tasmania, Western Australia, Victoria and all over NSW, creating a buzz in the city and boosting our local economy,” said Mayor Coupland.

Saturday’s headline entertainment, Sheppard, and the performance by Lisa Hunt were definite crowd-pleasers for this year’s Big Chill Festival.

Weekend highlights also included the retail, food and beverage vendors who flocked in for the event, reporting amazing sales and most selling out of goods by the end of the festival.

The ice-skating rink opened up to the public on Friday and has been an incredibly popular element to the Big Chill Festival.

“Over 2000 ice-skating tickets were sold on the weekend and a number of schools have also booked in for student skating sessions this week.

Skaters are sure making the most of the ice rink while it’s in town and re-booking sessions following their initial glide under the festoon lighting,” said Mayor Coupland.

The ice-skating rink is open daily from 10am to 8pm until Sunday 29 May. Tickets can be purchased at www.bigchill.com.au and NSW Discover and NSW Parent Vouchers are accepted.

“The Festival is gaining momentum and Council would like to thank everyone who came along and supported the event.”

This year’s Big Chill Festival was made possible by a $400,000 two-year grant from the Federal Government and $147,500 NSW Government grant to support the ice-skating rink.

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