Disappointment at turnout

TICKET prices and lack of liquor licensing may have contributed to low numbers at the first Top of the Hill Festival, according to the organiser.

Less than 50 people passed through the gates on Saturday for the event, which ran from midday to 10pm.

Festival organiser Brad Morpeth said although it had been a disappointing turnout, it had proved to be a learning curve.

"The acts on the day were great and the people who supported us and came on the day were fantastic, but we just didn't have the right combination for Swan Hill," Mr Morpeth said.

"We picked that weekend because it was the start of school holidays... but there were a lot of other things on the one weekend, and we were the casualty of that.

"We haven't dismissed a 2015 event, but we have just got to go back to the drawing board.

"It's an experience we can recover from and hopefully walk away a bit wiser at the end."

The event was headlined by Geelong band Audemia, with local acts including Kaos joining the afternoon's set list.

Mr Morpeth said initial feedback showed high ticket prices and an alcohol free approach had been a barrier to attendance.

The organisers are now looking for community feedback through an online survey — from both those who attended and those who didn't.

"It is just to gauge that if we were to try again what people really want," Mr Morpeth said.

"People may be happy with the amount of events already."

Mr Morpeth also thanked the sponsors and those who attended for supporting the event.

For more on this story, pick up a copy of Wednesday's Guardian (April 9).

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