Running On Empty Festival brings in a big crowd

They did it! The Running On Empty Festival committee pulled off a fantastic event that brought an estimated 1,000 visitors to town over the weekend. Pictured are event organisers John de Bruin and Ben Hewlett at the festival’s dinner with the film stars on Saturday night at Cobar Bowling & Golf Club. The event was a huge success that proved to not only be a great fundraiser for the War 1 War Memorial project, but also a great boost for the whole town. There were lots of smiling faces to be seen on locals and visitors alike with many saying the festival gave the town “a real buzz”. Photo contributed

It’s hard to judge, but it’s estimated there were about 1,000 visitors here for the Festivals weekend, however it’s not hard to work out that everyone had a great time.

Running On Empty Festival organisers John de Bruin and Ben Hewlett, together with their small committee, have received heaps of praise from locals and visitors for putting on a fantastic weekend.

“Benny and I were overwhelmed by the support of local people and the visitors were thrilled with how everything went,” Mr de Bruin said.

“Locals have reported they could feel a buzz in the town.

“The visitors loved Cobar, her people and the relaxed feel of the festival. Some are even considering making a move here,” he said.

“It was also cool to have the Running On Empty movie’s director, actors and Fox 1 car here.”

Cobar Business Association president Sharon Harland said the Running On Empty festival had given the town a great boost.

“Lots of local businesses reported good trade over the weekend and, while some others weren’t perhaps as busy as they expected, the town has still done very well out of the cash injection we’ve got from all the visitors.

“Our reputation as a friendly town and a great place to live was also highlighted on the weekend and hopefully many of the visitors will come back and visit,” Mrs Harland said.

Festival goers at the Running On Empty Festival (ROEF) on the weekend got to meet some of the stars of the movie who gladly signed photos, t-shirts and even some dashboards of their cars. Pictured are movie celebrities Gerry Sont, Kristoffer Greaves, Richard Moir and the movie’s director John Clark with Anna Sont (Gerry’s wife) and ROEF committee member Anita Hodgkinson at rear.

Tourism officer John Martin agreed the weekend was a great success.

“The whole thing was absolutely fabulously positive. I spoke to a few people who are definitely coming back,” Mr Martin said.

“The amount of exposure we got through the car enthusiasm fraternity is pretty special.

“There were a number of people from car magazines here and they’re all over the moon with how everything went,” he said.

Mr Martin said it was a positive and great event for Cobar and the committee had put in a lot of hard work.

He said there were however a few lessons to be learnt for the next one.

Mr de Bruin said on Monday they would consider holding another event.

He also conceded there could be a few “tweaks made” to ensure the next event is even better.