Wagga Live hits new heights

(Back from left) Entertainment directors Geoff Simpson and Dale Allison, along with big screen producer Michael Patterson, (front) Committee4Wagga chairwoman Judy Galloway and Events co-ordinator Belinda King reflect on a successful second edition of Wagga Live. Picture: Kieren L TillyWAGGA’S New Year’s Eve showcase showed no signs of second-year syndrome, with organisers reporting an attendance of more than 11,000 people to the event’s 2014 edition.

In only its second year, Wagga Live has quickly grown into an institution on the city’s social calendar, filling a gap that had long been bemoaned by many in the community.

Committee4Wagga (C4W) chairman Chris Fitzpatrick, one of the driving forces behind the event, said it was important to continue to build on the event’s success.

“I think a city such as Wagga needs to have events such as this, just to make sure our residents feel like they’re looked after on New Year’s Eve and have somewhere to go,” he said.

The concept of Wagga New Year’s Eve spectacular was hatched by C4W in 2013 after years of debate as to whether the city should host an event to mark the occasion.

C4W was aided by a $135,000 contribution from Wagga City Council to cover Wagga Live’s first three editions, with that agreement due to expire after 2015’s event.

Mr Fitzpatrick said the event would be reviewed once that agreement concluded.

“After that, I guess it’s open for discussion,” he said.

For the first time this year, a small entry fee was charged for entry to the Wagga Live precinct – a decision which initially drew mixed reviews from the community.

Despite revellers having to pay to party this year however, crowds were up on the 2013 event.

“I think that’s a really pleasing aspect – people who did come were more than happy to make a contribution,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.

“The bottom line is you can’t run an event like that unless there is a small entry charge to cover the base costs.”

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