23 September 2022

Massive crowds overwhelm the car parks at Henty as the field days return

| Chris Roe
Join the conversation
cars at Henty

Traffic jam in Henty as cars lined up for the field days. Photo: HMFD and Geoff Minchin (Facebook).

The Henty Machinery Field Days have returned with a bang as tens of thousands flooded to the tiny town for the post-COVID-19 return of the iconic agricultural event.

Despite a wet forecast, only Wednesday saw rain with some cars having to be towed from the car parks, but record crowds poured through the gate from day one.

READ ALSO Fur the love of it: Wagga Zoo delights in baby boom

Perfect spring weather on Thursday, coupled with the surprise public holiday saw unprecedented numbers arrive for the final day, forcing organisers to close car park gates at about 11 am.

Roads to the field days site were blocked in all directions with punters queuing for hours only to be turned away as news of the closed gates was announced on the HMFD Facebook page along with the promise of a refund.

Facebook posts

The closure was announced on Facebook. Photo: HMFD Facebook.

“Henty Machinery Field Days is full and with regret, we have to close the gates due to public safety concerns,” the post read.

“All of our car parks are full and the roads are blocked in many directions. This is a totally unprecedented move and we regret not being able to accommodate you this year.”

The post attracted hundreds of shares and comments as ticket holders expressed a mix of surprise and frustration, with most acknowledging that organisers were clearly taken by surprise.

Jason Keogh described his disappointment after driving for three hours.

“I sat in my car for 1.5 hours to arrive at the back of a queue for 2 hours with no information but some chatter on the UHF in the last 15min & then eventually the facey post & then an hour of 2 teary 10yr olds who had been bursting for 3 years… so by the time I get home tonight I won’t get much change out of 6 hours car,” he wrote.

READ ALSO Griffith’s Princess of Wool relives her past glory

Brendon Wood added his own twist on the classic jingle.

“Not goin’ to the Henty Field Days…., too many people there. Won’t see you at the Henty Field Days…., the gates are locked and we can’t share….” his amended lyrics went.

Jenny Wren was more understanding, writing that the target demographic was likely among the first in.

“Farmers are the trade and pretty sure most of them would have rocked up by 9 am because that’s just what they do,” the comment reads.

“No-one wanted anyone to miss out and it’s horrid all round, but surely we can all appreciate this was – literally – unprecedented in the 60-year history of the field days?”

Henty Field Days

The Henty Machinery Field Days are back!: Photo: HMFD.

Performer Marcela Scheuner celebrated the success of the event for exhibitors and for the future of the event.

“This is FANTASIC for the field days to be so busy and full after a couple years off, fantasic for all the businesses and local independent smaller stalls too! It’s been a great 3 days!!” she said.

Men and tractor header

Andrew Haenig, Hutcheon and Pearce sales representative, with Bruce, Greg and Matt Mallon, all from Urana, check out the machinery at the Hutcheon & Pearce site. Photo: HMFD.

The surprise crowd numbers aside, there can be no doubt the event was a success and the Henty Machinery Field Days will be shaping up for even bigger and better events in the future.

Those requiring a refund are advised to do so through the ticket booking website or contact the field days office on 02 6929 3305.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

Daily Digest

Want the best Riverina news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riverina stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.