Geelong and Essendon have officially kicked off the 2019 Powercor Country Festival.

Established in 2016, the Powercor Country Festival will see both clubs celebrate the role regional and rural Victorians play in our community through tonight’s JLT Community Series game, and a blockbuster Round 7 clash at the MCG.

Geelong CEO Brian Cook and Essendon CEO Xavier Campbell were joined by Powercor CEO Tim Rourke to launch the 2019 event earlier tonight, prior to the pre-season hit-out between the Cats and Bombers at GMHBA Stadium.

Geelong CEO Brian Cook said the club is looking forward to seeing the program evolve into the future.

“We’re excited to bring the Powercor Country Festival to Geelong for the first time tonight,” Cook said.

“Bringing the excitement of the game and the festival to GMHBA Stadium, Australia’s premier regional venue, is a great step forward in this event.

“As a club, we are immensely proud of the meaningful message behind this partnership. It’s important we recognise the role Victorians in regional and rural communities play in the success of our great game.

“The Powercor Country Festival is a long-term partnership, and we look forward to the growth of this program year-on-year into the future.”

Essendon CEO Xavier Campbell said the two clubs are proud to launch the Powercor Country Festival into its fourth year.

“We’re delighted to be able to celebrate and recognise the significant contribution rural communities play in the prosperity of Victoria,” Campbell said.

“Being proudly from the country, I have a firsthand appreciation of the importance in acknowledging the hard work of those from regional heartlands across the state.

“Alongside the Geelong Football Club, Powercor have been instrumental in the successful delivery of this festival and we’re thrilled to be partnering with them for the fourth consecutive year.” 

Powercor CEO Tim Rourke said that as the network operator that distributes electricity to more than 810,000 customers, Powercor supports the small to large businesses and farms that generate 70% of the state’s agricultural product and 25% of Victoria’s GDP.

“The Powercor Country Festival gives us a great platform to recognise our customers as well as acknowledge our almost 1,000 employees who provide them with safe, reliable and affordable electricity supplies,” Rourke said.

“We encourage everyone to get involved in the Powercor Country Festival and support our regional communities.”

Previously Powercor Country Festival pre-season matches have taken place in Shepparton, Bendigo and Colac with last year’s clash at Colac between the two clubs attracting a crowd of 9,115, the biggest crowd of the JLT Community Series of 2018.

The program culminates with the Round 7 blockbuster at the MCG on Sunday 5th May where a pre-game festival in the Yarra Park precinct will showcase the best products of regional Victoria. In 2018, the festival attracted more than 20,000 people.