Events clash defended -- Speed and music strike accord on same weekend

By ED SOUTHORN

ORGANISERS of Murwillumbah's Speed on Tweed and Tyalgum Classical Music festivals have defended holding the two events at the same time this weekend.

The clash of dates, due partly to a tight national motor-racing calendar, has meant visitor accommodation in Murwillumbah has been stretched to the limit.

Instead of welcoming thousands of classic car fans and classical music lovers on separate occasions, which could maximise and extend returns for the local tourism industry, Murwillumbah's%accommodation, food and other service providers will have to make the most of more than 25,000 car fans and almost 1000 music fans all at once this weekend.

Speed on Tweed organiser%Roger Ealand said a classic car meeting last weekend at Eastern Creek and a V8 Supercar meeting at Sandown next weekend, re-%stricted dates for Speed on Tweed.

"I don't know if it's a bad thing at all," Mr Ealand said about the clash of dates.

"I hope some of our people will go to Tyalgum and some of theirs will come to Murwillumbah.

"It's a great weekend on the Tweed."

Tyalgum Classical Music Festival organiser Alexsandra Wilkinson said her event always started on the first Friday in September and this year's festival had been booked for that date some years ago.

She said it would have been too disruptive to change the dates and run it a week earlier.

"It's unfortunate timing as far as accommodation is concerned," Ms Wilkinson said.

She said Tyalgum music lovers were lucky the Tyalgum Ridge Retreat, formerly the Tyalgum Tops farm stay, had reopened after being closed for some time and was able to assist with accommodation for the music festival guests.

Tweed Tourism chief Terry Watson said the "ideal scenario" would have been for the two events to be co-ordinated, so the dates did not clash.

"We prefer to see events like these spread across the year," Mr Watson said.



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