A passionate Walcha not -for-profit group stage another successful celebration of the performing arts and music

Organisers of the Bobby Jack's Festival have declared last weekend's family festival of original music a success.

Festival curator Hugh Cook said the fledgling event was in keeping with the BJF team's long term objectives and would be back in 2020.

"It was very satisfying standing back watching all the swaying and bopping heads enjoying the music, he said.

"There was definitely a few different faces there and the number of non-locals was up, which is really encouraging as it will bring more exposure to Walcha."

Hundreds attended this year's festival ,and final numbers are yet to be counted, but Mr Cook says this is immaterial.

It has inspired us more for next year and we still want to go forward.

Hugh Cook

"The reason I consider it a success is because the vision is on track," he said

"Last weekend has inspired us more for next year and we still want to go forward. People want to escape the city and experience something that traditionally is usually not a collaboration - live original alternative music in the bush. Being in the country watching progressive music is very appealing."

The bands that attended the 2019 Bobby Jack's Festival were impressed with the production standards and infrastructure provided by the organisers.

"The scale of the production was visually, and sonically, amazing which lifts the experience to the height of our vision," Mr Cook said.

"The bands were ecstatic that they were able to perform on the staging and with the production we had - it was fitting to their epic style. They said they were proud to be part of something special like this is in a small regional community like Walcha.

"More and more alternative music festivals are leaving the city and going to rural areas, and the bands were excited to be part of that movement.

"In the city there are a million bands competing against each other - to play in something that is perceived as a boutique venue is considered fairly prestigious because there are a few of these kind of rural festivals - but they are still fairly rare."

Many festivals are either leaving New South Wales, threatening to, or just shuttin up shop owing to the recent changes in festival licensing laws. But Mr Cook says his team are not worried about the implications of these changes

"Because we aren't classed as a high risk festival it hasn't really affected us, and we have the full support of the local police which has made life very easy for us," he said.

"Thankfully they also see the importance of these kind of events in rural areas and they have been fantastic.The police support has been very encouraging and has helped us make the festival what it should be."

The number of campers at the festival was up on last year and Mr Cook said this, along with the children's entertainment area, was a crucial element of the festival's DNA.

"Keeping it as an all-ages family experience is essential," he said.

"It is also important to have this kind of camping event that is inclusive. Camping is a huge part of a festival atmosphere and it turns overnight into a community. You bond over the music."

Keeping it as an all-ages family experience is essential

Hugh Cook

More bonding was also taking place around the bonfire last Saturday night when another massive sculptural bonfire was lit following the final act.

"A whole lot of the fans socialised with the bands around the bonfire at the end of the evening, " Mr Cook said.

"It was amazing and that will continue to be a special finale to the event."

While this year it would appear that more non-locals enjoyed the festival than locals Mr Cook said this was to be expected.

"We don't expect all the locals to attend because they may not be our audience - our demographic is passionate die-hard festival goers - but we are so grateful that the local community appreciate what we are trying to achieve and we want to thank them for their support," he said.

"It would be stupid to think we would break-even in our second or third year and some advice I was given is not to try to grow the scale of the festival too quickly. These things need to grow organically - the standard has to be of a certain quality and stay there."

Mr Cook said Bobby Jack's Festival was certainly an investment for the long term.

It is a labour of love- for me anyway

Hugh Cook

"The analogy I always use is that it is like sowing a seed and nurturing it instead of planting an established tree," he said.

"The full-grown tree looks great at first but often it gets get weak and eventually dies. This is definitely a long term thing, and no one is rushing into an end product of any sort.

"We're passionate about the vision and it's serendipitous that it's happening here - this curating a festival thing is something I've been working towards my whole life.

"It is a labour of love- for me anyway. There was always a little tear in my eye the whole night - it was fantastic."