Bob Kemnitz notches up 60 festivals as a volunteer

Mr Festival: Bob Kemnitz at his party on Sunday, in front of some old posters for past Mountains festivals.
Mr Festival: Bob Kemnitz at his party on Sunday, in front of some old posters for past Mountains festivals.

It started back in 1993, when Bob Kemnitz volunteered to help at the Great Bowing music event.

Calling it a day: Bob Kemnitz, telling a story about one of his 60 festivals, has only one more festival in him.

Calling it a day: Bob Kemnitz, telling a story about one of his 60 festivals, has only one more festival in him.

Now, 60 festivals later, it will end at Winter Magic next year, which will mark the 25th anniversary of Katoomba’s big celebraton.

In between, the Leura electrician has helped at 22 Blue Mountains Music Festivals, 14 Winter Magics, 11 Ironfests, seven Songs of the Wind, a Rainbird Music festival, two Songlines, a climbing festival and Celebrate Lithgow in 2014.

At a party on the weekend to mark the achievement of his 60th festival, organisers – including Bob Charter from the BM Music Festival and Toni Clark from Winter Magic – praised his organisation, enthusiasm and ability to overcome all manner of problems that pop up in the course of any festival.

On the walls of the marquee were photographs of some of the great moments from days past, including Winter Magic 1995 – the only time it has snowed during that festival.

There were also certificates, including an award for a decade of continuous support for Winter Magic, acknowledgment from the Blue Mountains Arts Trust for his contribution to local culture and, in pride of place, his citation as “a knight of the kingdom of Ironfest for great support and exemplary work consistent with chivalric ideal”.

Mr Kemnitz took the opportunity to announce that his 24-year dedication to Mountains festivals has now ceased – apart from next year’s 25th Winter Magic which he can’t resist, he said.