Rhythm n Rail to go ahead, with cuts | Photos

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The 10th Rhythm n Rail Festival will go ahead, despite the volunteer committee struggling with numbers. 

A crisis-meeting was held last Wednesday, November 8 at the Junee Ex Services Club, as the few volunteers were stretched to the limit. 

President Jeanne Kennedy said there was a “very mixed” response on the night. 

“It’s going to be a hard slog but the outcome is we’re going to try and persevere, but it will probably be a shortened festival,” Ms Kennedy said. 

“The consensus was it would be a shame to let it go.” 

She said “a couple” of extra people turned up interested in helping, and a number as spectators. 

In last week’s poll in the Southern Cross, 76 per cent of voters said they wanted to see the festival go ahead.

The multicultural day planned for Sunday has been cut from the schedule. 

“We will try and do the bush dance, parade and markets, we’re still hoping we’ll get a big name act which will make it,” Ms Kennedy said. 

“We would still love more people to come on board- we still need bodies on the ground.” 

Junee Shire Council mayor Neil Smith has been involved with the festival since its inception and said it a great shame to see it under pressure.

“It’s a big event that draws people from outside. It’s an opportunity for Junee to showcase itself to the region, in that sense Rhythm n Rail is really unparalleled,” Cr Smith said. 

“We need to think more broadly than just Junee.” 

Council currently assist with road closures but haven’t provided funding for many years. 

“I was the chairperson of the committee when Council decided to cut the funding,which was a very significant blow. At the time they decided not to fund it because there was a view against funding one event and not the others,” Cr Smith said. ​

“I didn’t necessarily agree, it doesn’t benefit one organisation, it’s bipartisan right across the whole community, the whole business sector benefited. 

“I see it as quite different, quite special.” 

Cr Smith encouraged the community to get behind supporting the event. 

“With a few extra people it can be done, it’s just get trying to get people to come along, it would be tragic to see it fold,” he said.