STAWELL - Moves are afoot to develop a festival atmosphere around the Melbourne Cup Day race meeting at Stawell.
Stawell Racing Club has pulled off a major coup by securing a race meeting on Melbourne Cup Day, Tuesday, November 5.
As soon as the meeting was confirmed, Graeme Anyon commenced planning to establish a festival around the race day.
Mr Anyon said it made sense to provide entertainment for visitors over the entire cup weekend.
"When the race club secured the meeting on Melbourne Cup Day, I thought it would be great opportunity to build a festival around it," he said.
"Stawell has never had Melbourne Cup Day racing before and it was something Racing Victoria wanted the club to take on.
"The club was eager to take it on board and make it a success for Stawell and the wider region.
"Statistics show the Melbourne Cup weekend is the biggest movement of people outside of Easter and we have an opportunity here to capitalise on that, to give people something to do.
"We will put on an event on the Saturday night prior to the cup at the Stawell Racecourse and continue to grow it into a major festival in the years to come."
The event will be known as Stawell's own spring carnival event, featuring The Beatles Show by Rubber Soul. The band will perform at the racecourse on Saturday, November 2 from 6.30pm.
Tickets for the show are available at Foster's Mensland. There is an early bird special of $35 per ticket if purchased prior to October 18 and $40 after that date.
Rubber Soul recreate the atmosphere and energy of a real 'live' Beatles concert. The band has toured internationally and nationally playing the hits everybody has come to know and love, such as She Loves You, Please Please Me, Day Tripper and other classics like Strawberry Fields, I am The Walrus, Get Back and Hey Jude
Mr Anyon said the venue was ideal for such an event.
"The racecourse will provide the perfect venue for this type of event," he said.
"My aim will be to form a committee from here and put together a major festival next year leading into the Melbourne Cup Day races at Stawell."
The festival, Mr Anyon hopes, will include events outside the Stawell Town Hall, with Main Street closed off in future years.
The festival could then attract vintage car clubs, music entertainment, talent shows, buskers, market stalls and much more.
"The opportunities will be endless really," Mr Anyon said.
"We will look to bring anything in that will keep people entertained leading into the race day on Melbourne Cup Day."
"I have received a very enthusiastic response from the Stawell Racing Club which is pleasing."
Mr Anyon said the funds generated from the Saturday night show featuring Rubber Soul, will be shared between local organisations and to set up the festival in future years.
"I think we have great potential to develop this festival with a Beatles theme and tie it all together to ensure the success of the Melbourne Cup Day races."