Melodies have flowed on the opening day of the DREAM Festival as its major sponsor provided a new reason for applause.
Macquarie Credit Union will stump up cash for the grassroots celebration of creativity for another three years.
The Dubbo-based financial institution became the festival’s first major sponsor in 2014 and signed on to 2017.
On Thursday Macquarie Credit Union general manager Matthew Bow announced it had committed to another three years as major sponsor.
He told of the decision and offered praise at the launch of the 10-day festival.
“It’s such a fantastic event, it’s grown from strength to strength,” he said.
“We’ve seen it grow in leaps and bounds and also provide such a fantastic platform for the local talent in the area.”
Dubbo Eisteddfod scholarship winner and pianist Emma Newby provided the entertainment at the launch in a forerunner of Pianos on the Pavement, the opening event of the festival.
Emma, 16, who has been playing for 11 years, performed Debussy’s First Arabesque at the launch.
She said she loved piano, and offered encouragement to others.
“Keep playing, it’s so much fun and makes people happy when you play for them,” she said.
From 4pm Pianos on the Pavement brought music to shoppers near the rotunda in Church Street.
Musicians booked up spots ahead of the event that returned for its third year.
DREAM committee member Greg Marginson said it was gaining momentum.
“It’s trying to recreate the social role the piano used to play, probably before we had recorded music,” he said.
“That every household had a piano, and everybody would gather around it to hear the latest tune or to sing a song together.
“And in a funny sort of way, bringing the piano back out on the pavement, creating this sort of environment and having a fun event around it just recreates that same experience.
“In a fun, open-air way.”
Mr Marginson said it attracted a range of musicians and styles.
“I guess the other thing about it is quite young kids often want to come and play, through to people like Emma who are very experienced,” he said.
“So violins playing with the piano this year, we’ve got choir coming this year.
“It’s a great way to open a festival really… and it’s a lovely spot here.”