Magic on the Mehi aimed at drawing visitors from across the region
IT has often been said that from little things, big things grow – and it’s an apt description of Magic on the Mehi, a brand-new poetry and music festival planned for Moree next month.
Magic on the Mehi is bush poet Murray ‘Muz’ Hartin’s ‘baby’, and it’s one he’s been nursing for quite a while.
The inaugural festival, slotted in for September 9-10-11 at the property Wandoona on the Gwydirfield Road, has already attracted several headline acts including six-times Golden Guitar winner Luke O’Shea and Muz’s chief partner in crime, Marco Gliori of Naked Poets fame.
And Muz, now living back in Moree after years of travelling and touring, says Magic on the Mehi is not just a Moree ‘thing’.
He believes it has the potential to become a major Moree-based regional event that will draw poetry and music lovers from across the north and north-west in mass numbers.
“Because of the closeness of towns and villages in our area, bus trips from major centres could be organised to collect passengers at smaller villages along the way,” Muz said.
“An Inverell bus could pick up at Delungra, Warialda, Gravesend and Pallamallawa while a Narrabri bus could collect passengers at Edgeroi, Bellata and Gurley.
“This also applies for St George, Mungindi, Boomi, Garah and Ashley as well as Goondiwindi and Boggabilla,” he said.
Muz believes Magic on the Mehi has the potential to grow considerable in the coming years and become a major destination for tourists and travellers – and he hopes the inaugural festival next month is the beginning of something big for Moree.
“We’re definitely not getting ahead of ourselves,” Muz said.
“If we can get the first one out of the way without too many bruises, I think it should go well.”
Muz takes inspiration from the hugely successful Boggabri Drovers’ Campfire, which was first held 10 years ago when just 57 people attended. It now draws thousands of visitors from across Australia each April.
The event has won numerous tourism awards and provides Boggabri with an annual economic boon.
“The Boggabri festival has grown amazingly over the years so if we do things right, the potential is there,” Muz said.
“Geographically, Moree is well-suited to attract the grey nomad and the coach communities.
“The venue has the potential to cater for at least a couple of thousand people so there’s definitely room for growth – but, again, we’ll see how we go with the first one,” Muz said.
“If we can get somewhere between three and five hundred people we’ll be happy.
“Anything else would be a bonus – being a ‘first-ever’, it’s very hard to tell,” he said.
Words, Image: Bill Poulos