Now it?s time to finalise for 2006

By CHRISTIAN STANGER

AFTER the huge success of this year's Wintersun Festival, event coordinator Barry McNamara will soon begin to finalise plans for Wintersun 2006.

"We began planning six months ago for Wintersun 2006," said Barry. "The challenge for us now to make next year better so we look at the lessons we can learn out of this year and build on that."

Barry has been run off of his feet for the last ten days but is happy that the festival ran smoothly and has obviously grown in popularity with numbers up from last year by around 9000 people.

"I'm guessing that the number we're looking at is around 60,000. I think we'll be well up on the 51,000 we were at last year," he said.

"It's the first time ever that we have had phone networks get jammed during the event so we're obviously getting more people here."

The problems that have plagued the festival in the past were nowhere to be seen this year with all three nights of the car cruises going off without a hitch, the new control systems working well and the introduction of the Savy Smart Card being embraced by Wintersun patrons.

"It's good to see that we've had very few problems and complaints and we already have people wanting to come back next year so it's all very positive.

This year saw the introduction of the Rock 'n' Roll Breakfasts which featured rock 'n' roll artists being invited to be guest speakers in front of an audience of fans.

"They became very personal meetings between people," said Barry.

"It gave the artists a chance to talk to some people who bought their records years ago and that was really nice so that will definitely be part of our program in the future."

"Another highlight was the Rock 'n' Roll Church Service which was absolutely brilliant and a lot of people are talking about that so that should be back next year as well."

For now Barry is busying himself with finalising the finance of this year's festival and in a few months plans will form for next year and the Wintersun team will shift their focus towards June 2006.

"We'll sit down over the next few months and evaluate everything that's been done and how it has happened and then we'll start firming our plans for next year," said Barry.

"This is pretty much an all year job, it takes that length of time to put together something as big as this."



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