A new generation of Redfest attendees was born last weekend, with 25 to 45-year-olds comprising 70 per cent of the demographic coming through the gates.
They came in droves, many saying this was partly to remember their own childhoods and mostly to pass on those same experiences to their children.
Redfest president Arno Nel said he was delighted with the success of this year’s festival, held at the Cleveland showgrounds on September 2 and 3, and particularly pleased to see this generation of younger people attending.
“These are our future dads and grandchildren. The festival brought people back. That was a standout for me,” Arno said.
“I put this down to the entertainment that was offered and a strong offering to the kids. There was lots for them to do and this makes a big difference.”
At the end of the weekend, Arno estimated between 15,000 and 20,000 people through the gates making this festival a financial and social success.
Matt Mohebi attended the festival with son Liam, 5, and said he saw the festival on Facebook and thought it “looked like fun”.
“I’d say it’s better than the Ekka and a great alternative,” he said.
Candice Bey said she had moved away and recently returned to the Redlands.
“We are excited to be back here and isn’t this a part of what happens? I’d rather do this than the Ekka,” she said.
Annie and Shane Pritchard, now of Morningside, said they grew up in the Redlands and wanted to share the experience with daughter Sienna, 6.
“It’s still cute, like we remember, but there are less strawberries,” Annie said.
Arno said the right mix of music, activities and stalls struck a chord with the festival patrons this year.
Main acts were Sheppard, Russell Morris and Beddy Rays on Saturday with a range of tribute bands performing on Sunday.
“When Sheppard played, there were 4000 on site and about 1000 inside. And then on Sunday, the tribute bands offered something for everyone and was good for the dads,” he said.
That said, Arno said there was always room to do better.
“We learned this year that there are certain limitations with power,” he said.
“We have asked everyone involved to give feedback so that we can do even better for ourselves, our vendors and our sponsors next year.”
Arno assured the Redland people that next year’s Redfest would also go ahead, after a hiatus since 2019.
“I think there was always going to be a hesitation as people wondered if we would deliver,” he said.
Arno said he also wanted to thank the volunteers and committee members who were small in number but great in enthusiasm and gave hours of help to ensure the festival’s success.
The festival was also held on the same weekend as Riverfire and Father’s Day, something Arno said worked for and against the festival.
“We will look at placing the festival before or after these events next time, but there are those who came to this festival to see the fireworks rather than go to Riverfire and those who saw this as great way to spend Father’s Day,” he said.
Simon Crane of Thornlands said he brought his daughter Sian to spend some father-daughter time together.
“She’s been coming here since she was a kid and I thought it might be fun to revisit now she’s an adult.”