Mad Max fans are frantic after event organisers announced they had ditched the Clunes Showground as the location for the 40th anniversary event.
The event scheduled for February 2 2019 is expected to attract more than 1000 Mad Max fans from countries across the world.
It has been relocated to the Carisbrook harness racing track.
Accommodation in Clunes was already close to booked out for the February weekend, but event organiser Mark Burke has urged fans not to cancel their bookings.
“The last thing we want is for the accommodation to collapse in Clunes, as we understand accommodation in the whole town is booked out,” he said.
“People are cancelling their accommodation as we speak. We don’t want them to panic. We need a bus company to cart people from Clunes to Maryborough. Clunes to Carisbrook is only 25 minutes. It’s not that far.”
The 40th anniversary event is expected to attract Mad Max fans from around the world, including visitors from Japan, Switzerland, America and Africa.
The original Mad Max was centered around Clunes. I’m sad to see the anniversary event move.Mark Burke, Mad Max 40th anniversary event organiser
Mr Burke said the location change was decided on Friday after a ‘conflict of interest’ with the Clunes and District Agricultural Society and the Hepburn Shire Council.
“The amount of things the council asked us to do and the amount of money it would have been to host it in Clunes would have affected the funding of charities,” he said.
“Hiring the venue in Carisbrook is a fraction of the cost of what we were paying in Clunes. All the profits from the event are going to Young Diggers and it was going to the local CFA in Clunes. Now we will be looking to donate to the CFA in Maryborough.
“The original Mad Max was centered around Clunes. I’m sad to see the anniversary event move and I am sad for the local businesses.”
Clunes and District Agricultural Society president John Drife said he had no doubts the event would be successful in Carisbrook, at perhaps a better suited venue.
“The organisers had concerns about the venue. We had concerns about the use of our venue,” he said.
“Residents live right around the full perimeter of the showgrounds. Events come and events go but we also need to consider people live in close proximity to the venue. This event will run late into the night.”
In a statement, Hepburn Shire Council said they had been working with the Mad Max reunion event organisers to help facilitate an event in Clunes.
“We have recently been advised that the private event organisers have not found a suitable venue in Clunes and will be holding the event in neighbouring Maryborough. Whilst we are disappointed that the private event will be moving, we believe that many ticket holders will stay or venture over to Clunes as part of their visit.”
The Carisbrook Lion Club has volunteered to assist on day and there is hope the Maryborough Lions Club will benefit from an influx of visitors to their Sunday market.
But Mr Burke said there was no doubt Clunes would still benefit from the event.
“There’s no doubt Clunes will get an influx of tourists on Sunday and possibly even the Friday. The town is iconic for Mad Max,” he said.
Contact organisers through the Mad Max 40th Anniversary: The Search For Max Clunes Facebook page fore more information.