16 November, 2023
Loving Little Linville
The small little village of Linville, hidden away in the Aussie bushland, is hosting its fourth annual Heritage and Arts Festival.
Endless trails, numerous hikers, cyclists and cowboys have been making their way to the old timber town for years. In recent years, however, the festival has also helped boost Linville’s reputation.
Linville Progress Association secretary Carolyn Barker said the festival - Saturday, Nov 18 and Sunday, Nov 19 - has steadily grown in popularity every year, attracting over 2,000 people over two days, last year.
“While it started as a one-off to recognise the 110-year milestone of the railway opening, it attracted so much attention we’ve decided to continue it every year, and start involving local art, as well,” Carolyn said.
“There are so many creative people in rural areas, who often don’t get to showcase their talent, so we decided to use the festival as a platform for them, too.”
The festival even attracts big Melbourne artists, with up to 20 creators attending this year’s festival and competing for the Linville Art Prize.
Owner of the iconic Linville Hotel, Tracey Diver, emphasised how essential tourists are for her business, since a hotel cannot survive on locals alone. Having the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail leading day trippers into town, as well as being part of the Somerset Country Pub Trail, has helped them have a successful peak season, but the festival has also been an important factor.
“The festival is a great way to showcase our little village and attract more business,” Tracey said. Like the railway, the over 100-year-old pub is a significant part of Linville’s history, since “without the hotel there would be no town”, especially today.
Being one of only four businesses in town, it is the one most dependent on tourists. Tracey emphasised the importance of small towns and business supporting each other.
“Owning a small business in a rural town is very challenging,” Tracey said. “We always refer people to other villages and businesses, as that’s the best way for the whole Somerset region to grow.”
Another positive from the festival is the Linville Community Garden. This little garden was initially created to drive attendance to the first festival, providing a place in town for attendees to sit and enjoy the festivities. In a twist, the colourful, sculpture filled garden is now a tourist attraction year-round.
This year’s festival will also have Angels Strings Orchestra performing with an opera singer in the garden, having a $35 admission ticket.
The opening of the former railway station 110 years prior put Linville on the map. The railway opened the whole district, allowing it to go into various industries, like cattle and logging, which are still the backbone of the village today.
Linville Heritage and Arts Festival is taking place this Saturday and Sunday, promising a colourful art exhibition from up to 20 artists, a live chainsaw art creation, whip cracking performance, an art workshop, live music, BBQs and much more.
The full program can be found on https://www.linvilleprogress.com.au