The 19th Deni Ute Muster, the original Australian country life themed music festival, was held this weekend in Deniliquin in southern NSW.
Over 15,500 people converged on the Riverina town for two days of family entertainment and ute focused activities together with a who’s who of Australian country music.
The music got under way on Friday with Jetty Road and Hurricane Fall followed by one of Australia’s most loved singer-songwriters, Sara Storer. The Davidson Brothers, one of Australia’s hottest bluegrass acts, were up next followed by Beccy Cole and her band playing all of her hits, interspersed with her trademark cheeky repartee with the crowd.
James Blundell and Brewn took the stage before the man in the black hat, Lee Kernaghan, closed out Friday night with an almost two hour set that had the whole arena singing along.
Saturday afternoon saw the arena filled yellow and black and red, gold and navy to watch a nail biting AFL Grand Final with Richmond fans screaming for joy as the team broke their 37-year drought. After the game, the music once again began as the sun set with the Adam Eckersley Band and rising country star Caitlyn Shadbolt before The McClymonts set the stage alight.
Drew McAlister and crowd favourite, Shannon Noll, were up next before The Wolfe Brothers closed the weekend with a bang.
The Deni Ute Muster is a celebration of contemporary Australian rural life where the ute is king. The Deni Ute Muster isn’t just about the music – it’s an all Aussie extravaganza including wood chopping and whip cracking demonstrations, Coates Hire Show ‘n Shine, Noah’s Thoroughbred Racing Pigs, the Bull Ride Spectacular, the Brophy Bros Circus, Matt Falloon and His Trained Balloons, Matt Mingay and Madzy Evel’s Off Road Show, the Reptile Awareness Display, camel rides and Circlework, Barrel Race and Go to Wo competitions all on the entertainment menu.
This year’s Tradie Challenge was won by Melbourne’s Brad Rossetto and Paul Riley taking out first prize and a cool, $1,000 cash for their clock.
With temperatures in the low 20’s and the sun out all weekend, there was plenty of reminiscing about last year’s #MuddyMuster which saw the cancellation of the world record ute count, and barely a puddle in sight. The Ute Count was back this year with 6,313 utes confirmed on site.
The world record blue singlet attempt fell short, but still impressive, with 1,941 musterers of all ages gathered for the count. The GME Australian National Circle Work Championships saw Stanhope’s Zac Turner take first prize in his 2004 Ford Falcon XR8 with New South Welshmen Ryan White and Robert Welch taking 2nd and 3rd prizes.
The Go to Wo was won by Benjamin Gehan from Stawell in Victoria with Karlia Woods from Dungog in NSW coming in 2nd. 1st and 2nd places in the Barrel Race were taken by Bob Waldner from Lavington in NSW and Josh Turnbull from Wedderburn respectively. The Coates Hire Show ‘n Shine Ute of the Year, and the $4,000 prize money, was awarded to Darryl Miles from Gledswood Hills in NSW for his 1978 Holden HZ 1 Tonner.
Deni Ute Muster General Manager, Vicky Lowry, said “Before we knew it our 19th year of celebrating the Deni Ute Muster was over. Each year memories are created, for me 2017 was the year that the crowd both young and old dressed in their blue singlets at front of main stage joined in true Aussie spirit singing Waltzing Matilda and Advance Australia Fair. To our loyal and new Muster patrons, thank you for making this another successful year. See you all in 2018 for our 20th year!”
“I’d also like to acknowledge our Strategic Partner, Destination NSW, our Event Partners, Edward River Council and our major sponsors Bundaberg, Decentralised Demountables, Deniliquin Freighters, Purtills, IGA and Lion. It’s thanks to their continued support, as well as our friends at Isuzu and Sunrice, that we’re able to grow the event each year”.
The 2017 Deni Ute Muster was proudly supported by the NSW Governmentthrough its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.