Lucindale 'triple j One Night Stand'

27 Sep 2019

I rise today to pay tribute to the entire Lucindale Community and the surrounding towns for their incredible effort in organising and hosting the ‘triple j One Night Stand’ – a drug and alcohol-free family event that was held on September 14, featuring some of the country’s most talented and up and coming musicians.

The triple j One Night Stand has been travelling to remote and rural towns for the past 15 years. The first event was held in Natimuk, Victoria back in 2004. Since then – it has traversed the country – and grown – setting up in towns such as Ayr in Queensland, Cowra in NSW, Collie in WA, Mildura, Vic, and last year – in St Helens, Tasmania.  

The process of winning the hosting of this event began way back in 2013 when a Facebook page was started up by Lucindale local Kate Rayner with the support of Louise Stock and the students from the Lucindale Area School. They set about getting as many ‘likes’ on social media as they could to alert triple j to their tiny town – population 500. Their campaign continued, their supporter base steadily grew - and in 2018 they presented a formal ‘expression of interest’ to triple j. While they were unsuccessful that year, in 2019 – Lucindale was shortlisted.

On June 27 this year – live on triple j radio – Lucindale was announced as the town to host the 2019 One Night Stand. Kate Rayner and her team of campaigners -  which had grown to include Georgie McKay from ‘the Stand Like Stone Foundation’ – a local Philanthropic organisation that provides grants to charitable projects,  the Lucindale Lions Club, the Naracoorte Lucindale Council, LINC – a collaboration of local businesses -  as well as the entire Lucindale community - had less than 12 weeks to pull this mammoth event together – with the help and support of the ABC and triple j.

The musical line-up was impressive – this year, Adelaide’s own Hilltop Hoods were the headline act. The boys from Blackwood were joined by Mount Gambier band ‘Chelsea Manor’ – who won the triple j Unearthed competition, Meg Mac, Ocean Alley and G Flip to entertain the thousands of people who were expected to descend on Lucindale.

The lead up to the event was described by one local as ‘waiting for a storm to come in’ - the town knew it was going to be big - but just how big remained to be seen.

Hosting the event at Lucindale was dubbed the most challenging as it was the smallest town to date to stage a ‘One Night Stand’. For those of you who don’t know – Lucindale is situated in the beautiful Limestone Coast - a  3 and a half hour drive South East of Adelaide and five hours west of Melbourne. To get the One Night Stand up and running would require the help of pretty much the entire Lucindale population.

Logistically, the thought of turning a town that’s used to catering for 500 – into a town that needed food, drink and services for up to 20-thousand is daunting to say the least. But – true to the country community ‘just get in and do it’ attitude – Lucindale got down to business.  Thankfully – this agricultural town has experience hosting the famous South East Field Days – an annual, two-day event that attracts thousands of visitors from across the state.

Ensuring there were adequate facilities and infrastructure was a huge task. This included bringing in more than 200  extra toilets, over 100 showers, nearly a dozen  generators to power the concert and food stalls – 2.1 kilometres of security fencing and 17 light towers to provide lighting at the campsite and concert. There were also 45 food stalls to cater for both campers and day trippers - and dozens of drinks stations to re-fill water – not to mention setting up the campsite itself at nearby “Yakka Park”.

There – in the days before the event -  the Yakka Park Camping Ground mushroomed – with around 5,000 people checking in. These visitors had the option of paying for a stand-alone ‘camp site’  – or hiring a tent complete with mattresses and camp chairs. The money from the campsite raised funds for a wide range of local community groups and enabled the organisers to pay for important infrastructure at Yakka park and the surrounding township.

There was also a communications issue – how do you get mobile telephone and internet service for such a huge number of people. It was not an easy task – and I pause here to thank the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Telstra, the Lucindale Lions and the Naracoorte Lucindale Council for splitting the cost to bring a mobile phone tower into the town – ensuring the area had adequate wifi service for the event. 

Usually - Lucindale is a one police officer town – but for the event – a number of additional resources were brought in. They included members from the State Tactical Response Group, Mounted Operations, Public Transport Safety Branch, Dog Operations and Traffic police. The high visible police presence and road safety messaging contributed to a relatively incident free event – with only two arrests for minor behavioural matters. In a crowd of 15,000 that is something we should be proud of and I thank SA Police for ensuring everyone was kept safe.

There were quite simply – hundreds of volunteers who worked for weeks to make this event happen and it is impossible to name them all. Locals used tractors to roll out the carparking site – which in the week before, had received 20 mm of rain. The food and drink stalls had to be organised and set up, a make-shift grocery store was stocked with the essentials, the local pub prepared to feed, water and entertain visitors and the town itself was decorated with lighting and colourful pom poms. These were made by locals and school children all wanting to get involved. Buses were organised to ferry concert goers from the surrounding towns including Millicent, Robe, Kingston and Mount Gambier. Volunteers directed traffic, manned the gates at the Yakka Park tent city, ferried camping equipment to sites, and collected the gold coin donations at the gate to the concert.

The Lucindale Football and Netball clubs – who both found themselves in the A Grade KNTFL Grand Final – which in a bitter sweet twist - was held on the same day of the One Night Stand but in nearby Penola – offered their clubrooms and buildings to triple j and ABC staff as the broadcast centre as well as an emergency operations office. For the record – the A Grade footballers went down to Mundulla – while the A grade  netballers won the Premiership flag – a result that was announced by the Hilltop Hoods during the concert.

There is no doubt – the One Night Stand was a huge achievement. The concert shone the light on Lucindale. It attracted people from across the country – and brought family and friends together. The One Night Stand was live-streamed on ABC iview, Youtube and triple J – posted all over social media - and replayed on a special edition of ‘Rage’ last weekend - ensuring the Australia wide audience knew all about Lucindale in the South East of South Australia.

The success stories from the night are still coming in. Sporting clubs such as Kybybolite and Border Districts,  who set up food stalls inside the concert ground -  reported making thousands of dollars profit for selling food such as nachos, donuts, sliders, hot chips, gravy rolls, and drinks. The money raised provides an important boost to these clubs who play such an integral role in the lives of those who live in the country.

The economic benefit to the region is estimated to be in the vicinity of 15 million dollars over four days. Naracoorte and surrounding areas had their accommodation booked out in the hours and days following the announcement. It was estimated that each person would spend $250 per day – providing a valuable flow on effect for local businesses including supermarkets, cafes, restaurants and hotels.

And as for the event itself – a massive $22,558.60 was collected in donations at the gate from the 15,000 who attended. This money will be shared by the Stand Like Stone Foundation and the Lucindale Community Swimming pool. The Stand Like Stone Foundation will use their portion for their Young Leaders program, while the remainder will go to the new Lucindale swimming pool – which - after two years of planning – is nearing completion.

Again – I thank Kate Rayner, the Lucindale Lions, the Naracoorte Lucindale Council and Mayor Erika Vickery – as well as the entire Lucindale Community for coming together to host the 2019 triple j One Night Stand. I thank the ABC and triple j for recognising the magic of this little town and for giving it the opportunity to shine on the national stage.

The success of this event is testament to what can be achieved by the persistence of a small group of people –who had a vision – and a passion – to bring a national music event to a country town.  Congratulations Lucindale – you should be proud of what you’ve achieved.