It’s certainly no easy task helping to organise an event as king-sized as the Parkes Elvis Festival.
A festival that last year attracted 25,000 people to Parkes usually needs as many hands on deck as possible.
And with the festival’s sponsorship and marketing coordinator Beth Walker on maternity leave, Parkes woman Ellie O’Donoghue and Luisa Machielse from Orange have stepped up to the challenge for 12 months.
The duo have been sharing the role since July and with just eight weeks until the festival kicks off on January 10, they’ve been kept very busy.
“We’ve hit the ground running really,” Ellie said.
“But Beth did have a lot prepared for us.”
Ellie is no stranger when it comes to the festival, having been the Parkes Elvis Festival coordinator in 2009 and 2010.
She’s familiar with many aspects of the festival but she said a lot has changed since she last worked behind the scenes too.
“The festival has grown a huge amount since then,” Ellie said.
“So has the use of social media and the importance of digital media.
“In 2009 and 2010 we didn’t have to be constantly searching how to get people here – now that council has taken over the festival, that’s made a big difference.”
Ellie said she is loving the variety and pace after being Parkes Shire Council’s grants officer for seven years.
Luisa – who has a marketing background – said she’s learning plenty and is loving the diversity.
“I’m enjoying helping to get the event underway and getting to know the locals involved,” she said.
“And I’m looking forward to meeting all the Elvis Tribute Artists.
“I’ve attended a few festivals and I have some funny memories – it’s a very surreal sight, a small country town full of Elvii.”
Parkes Elvis Festival director Cathy Treasure said they are getting excited as they count down to next year’s festival, which will celebrate 50 years since Elvis’ ‘68 Comeback Special.
“We have a very dynamic team with a mixture of skills,” Cathy said.
“We’re very excited about delivering an amazing festival for 2018 with some new additions.”