Ironfest: The Wild West
Beginning as a glorified art exhibition & held in a number of shops in the East End Main St Lithgow, the first Ironfest celebrated the birth of steel in Australia in Lithgow & involved around 30 artists & performers & attracted around 400 people.
The following year it was expanded to include a number of venues outside of Main St including the Small Arms Factory Museum, the State Mine Museum, Talisman Gallery, & the Blast Furnace Park; involving around 70 participants & attracting 700 visitors
In 2002/03 it moved to the State Mine Museum & in this fabulous setting became a real festival involving around 300 people (artists, performers & re-enactors) & attracting in excess of 3,000 visitors.
In 2004 it was forced (because of parking & traffic concerns) to move to its current home the Lithgow Showground where it has grown exponentially; in 2015 involving over 1,200 participants & attracting close to 15,000 visitors.
Since inception Ironfest has attracted over 140,000 visitors to the region & contributed over $20 million directly into the local economy.
It has had an immeasurable effect on Lithgow’s post-industrial image transforming it from a dirty old coal mining town into a place where quality events take place; many of Ironfest’s participants and acts are now involved in numerous Council run events & locals are proud to promote their town as somewhere worth visiting.
For more information visit ironfest.net.