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MEDIA RELEASE - Hooked on Portland offers all the right ingredients

29 January 2019

An estimated 10,000 food, fishing and music lovers flocked to Portland over the January long weekend to enjoy Hooked on Portland, one of the region’s fastest growing food, music and lifestyle festivals.

Festival attendees delighted in the range of offerings which included family amusements, skateboarding, scooter and BMX competition, fishing competition, cooking demonstrations from River Cottage television chef Paul West and an evening of talented Australian entertainment, headlined by Triple J sensation ASTA.

Glenelg Shire Council Mayor Cr Anita Rank said the festival was a huge success, experiencing strong crowds across the weekend.

“From Friday afternoon through to Sunday evening the town was absolutely buzzing, with the festival attracting attendees from nearby towns and around Victoria as well as international visitors with many choosing to spend the whole weekend in the region. It is safe to say that Hooked on Portland is officially on the map as a premier event in south west Victoria,” she said.

Television chef and sustainability advocate Paul West wooed crowds on Saturday from the food and fishing hub, sharing his culinary secrets to a packed room as part of the cooking demonstrations.

Festival goers were also treated to roaming circus performances, market stalls and free fishing clinics with the Victorian Fisheries Authority.

Cr Rank said the fishing competition also played a large role in the success of the weekend, with a 68 per cent increase in registrations from last year.

“This year we had more than 140 registered competitors vying for $3000 in cash prizes, which is a significant jump on last year’s registration numbers. The foreshore area and boat ramps were a hub of activity as keen anglers tried their luck both out on the water and on-shore,” she said.

Reeling in the biggest catch for the day was Rialeigh Mathe with his 31.9kg tuna haul, however the competition saw entrants of all ages take home a win, including three year old Terry Gadsen from Portland who won the junior land based salmon catch category.

Cr Rank said the live entertainment pulled in strong crowds to the Bentinck Street lawns on Saturday, with over eight hours of live music from leading Australian artists.

“The entire festival congregated to the main stage with sensational sets from Josh Rawiri, The New Savages, Wallace, Benny Walker, 19-Twenty and of course, our headline act ASTA,” she said.

“We were thrilled to welcome someone of such high calibre as ASTA to the main stage, she has performed with some of the biggest names in international music such as Ellie Goulding and rapper All Day and now at Portland! Her contemporary pop sound and interactive stage presence was the perfect way to end the Saturday night festivities.

“Hooked on Portland also showcased local talent across the weekend, with the youth zone featuring local DJ’s Shaun King, DJ Legion, Chegz and DJ Fairweather on Saturday and local musicians Gav Riddell, Jason Bull and Cover Story dominating the main stage on Sunday.

“After a very successful weekend in Portland we are excited to say Hooked on Portland will be back bigger and better next year.”

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