Where did I end up (some 10 hours later)?
The Deni Ute Muster.
Held on the Friday and Saturday of the long weekend 50,000+ visitors descend on the small town of Deniliquin. The paddocks and fields near town hold the event. With 95% of visitors camping in the fields and event staff acquire every available bed in town this event is not to be missed.
Although there was some carnie food and BBQ by the pool involved this weekend was more about the experience rather than food centric. A long weekend of cowboys, rodeo, suped up utes. Cowboy boots, denim jeans, akubras and thousands of blue singlets (they even hold the Blue Singlet Guinness Book of Records!
there was smokin' wheels too
First up we have the Barrel races. Where States compete ute against ute in a timed barrel run around a paddock. It's dusty, loud and a lot of fun.
Next there is some junior cowboys with their whip crackin'.
let's get crackin'
There is plenty to eat too! Gotta love a bit of carnie food. Burgers, dagwood dogs, hotdogs, bacon and egg rolls, chips and dim sims!
Can't pass up on a Dagwood Dog.
What about some salt n' pepper calamari and chips from Squid Inc. These were so tender and tasty(although could have been a little crispier).
The burgers were pretty good too. I had stuck with the classic. I grabbed the burger from one place and grabbed some chips from Squid Inc. They were chunky, fluffy and crispy hot.
Fear not, there is plenty of booze.
Want to be a little classier, this year there was the Cider and Wine bar, which is set in front of the main stage in a little garden setting and a silver bullet caravan, serving 5 Seeds apple cider and wine...although in this 33 degree heat, wine was not really something I wanted.
Cold cider it was.
No problems walking around the grounds with your beverages. Just gotta be over 18 to enter the bar areas (and have a wrist band to drink).
One of the not to miss events was the IWA Wrestling (okay I was part of their crew). This was highly entertaining as the boys and the girls fought their way to potential victory.
Just hangin' with the wrestlers.
Here I am with Harley Wonderland, just before her round.
Below is Keegan and Josh Ghat on the left and Mikey Lord and Tyson Gibbs on the right
Here we have Mikey Lord doing a moonsault on Randal
The Demo Ute Muster is also known for their awesome line up for music. Over at the Ice Break Day stage where rising Australian country singers do there thing were Courtney Conway and Christie Lamb amongst other local talent. Grab a bite and a cool beverage and kick back and listen to some great tunes.
Then there is the main stage and we got a sneaky sound check session during the day on Friday with the man himself. Jimmy Barnes! I just need a moment.
Birds of Tokyo, Morgan Evans and my favourite Cold Chisel were headlining on Friday night along with Adam Eckersley Band, The McCymonts and Lee Kernaghan on Saturday night.
Having back stage access meant we had a great little chill out area with a fire pit where we were hanging out before the show. It was great. Now I have been a fan of Jimmy Barnes since I was about 8 years old - so we are talking nearly 35 years.
So you can only imagine how I am feeling right about now.........
What a legend.........Jimmy ain't to bad either!
My friends and I were also had the pleasure of standing in the pit and watch Cold Chisel on stage. What an absolute highlight to top an awesome weekend. (Perhaps you saw a glimpse of me in the pit on 60 minutes last Sunday night when they interviewed Cold Chisel?)
There are loads of stalls selling all your country necessities. Akubras, boots, work shirts, saddlery, whips and you can't forget jerky. For all your protein needs out on the farm.
We stopped by Nick's Jerky for some sampling and purchasing. Loved their Chilli and Lime jerky and nearly blew my head off with the Trinidadian Scorpion Jerky...that was a scorcher!
Jim's Jerky was there too. Was quiet partial to the Beer Sticks.
Now you cannot go to a car weekend without the Coates Show N Shine where ute enthusiasts have the pleasure to showcase their suped up utes. Here we have the Playboy Ute.
My favourite of the day was the 1954 Chevy in cherry red. Heart!
The Snail, which is a Toyota cruiser decked out for camping was the winner of the weekend.
All I can say was the weekend was awesome. It is hot, it is dusty, it is crowded and it is a little feral but it is one of the best weekends I have had the pleasure to be part of. I was not only introduced to a bit of country life but also to a world of wrestling that I never new existed!
Thanks to my lovely friends who included me in this amazing weekend. It was truly a fun weekend full of laughs, new experiences and friendship.
All I can say is pack your swag and esky and get down to the next Deni Ute Muster (2016) and experience for yourself. A bucket list contender for sure!