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New Event Vanfest To Hit Central West NSW

4 September 2014 | 8:42 am | Staff Writer

The party starts at Forbes Showgrounds this December

Central-west NSW is about to experience its biggest party ever, with fledgling festival Vanfest announcing its intent to take over the Forbes Showgrounds for the first time this December.

To get things off on the right foot, organisers have revealed the first artists to start filling up the roster, with Sydney-bred dance icons Bag Raiders and Van She both named as the event’s premier drawcards, the same day that first-release tickets open up to the public.

Familiar names to fans of all things dance- and/or electronic-based, Bag Raiders have been a key feature of the Sydney house scene for the past several years, garnering a strong reputation for energetic live performances and expertly executed remixes, while clinging fast to their tentpole beliefs in fun, friendship and the fundamentals of having a good time.

Fellow nationally renowned outfit Van She are no less acknowledged for their delicately crafted arrangements and remixes. They’ve a slew of hits such as Sex City, Strangers, Kelly, Idea Of Happiness and Jamaica all acting as testament to their strength as songwriters, ebullience as performers, and vitality as cultural figures, and aside from sounding like the festival is named for them (it’s not), it’s hard to think of a group better-placed to bring upbeat carousing to the Forbes Showgrounds this December.

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Vanfest actually got its start in Forbes earlier this year, in May, when co-organisers Grant Clifton – a local who owns and operates the Vandenburg Hotel – and his son Matt – the owner/operator of Manly’s Donny’s Bar – brought an evening of revelry to The Van, decking out proceedings with live music and DJ performances – you know, the sort of shindig that had never been staged in Forbes before.

The renewed, revamped Vanfest takes things into the great outdoors on Saturday, December 6, with “dozens” of additional acts yet to be revealed to make sure the entertainment don’t stop from the moment the party starts at 2.30pm to its final breaths at 11.30pm.

The festival will boast all the usual accoutrements – VIP tents, bars, meet-and-greets, preferred parking options, and more – and the day’s festivities, for which tickets are now available, will set you back an entirely reasonable $80.

“There’s never been anything like this in Forbes,” said co-organiser Matt Clifton in a statement. “Dad and I would never have been able to do what we’re doing if we hadn’t have partnered up with our networks from the city and the country.

“This is a party for the country; something that we hope will benefit everyone in the region.

“We’ll be delivering an all-Australian, extremely diverse line-up, featuring some heavy-hitting acts never before seen in regional New South Wales, and local talent as well. There should be a little something for everyone, and hopefully room to discover something new along the way.”

There you have it – sounds like you’d best whack on some dance tunes, pull the curtains and stay tuned for future announcements and news about the first full-day, outdoor Vanfest, because this is a party that stands to be unlike any other.