Mid Murray ratepayers will no longer foot bill for Sounds by the River

Photo: William Bailey.

Photo: William Bailey.

Mid Murray ratepayers have been subsidising the cost of the annual Sounds by the River concert for years, councillors have realised.

At a meeting on Tuesday, Cr Steven Hennessy noted the council had only been charging $5000 for the concert's use of Mary Ann Reserve each year, when the cost to ratepayers was about $7200.

Cr Simone Bailey questioned whether that was wise, considering the council had recently refused to meet the cost of closing the main street for Palmer's biggest annual event.

Councillors voted to increase Sounds by the River's annual event fee to cover the costs.

Chief executive officer Ben Scales also noted that concert organisers had begun selling tickets before the event had received council approval to go ahead, a situation he hoped could be rectified next year.

Regardless of any administrative issues, however, Cr Jeff Hall noted that the event was the only one that could bring 5000 people to the district for the weekend, and Mayor Dave Burgess said it also gave Mannum a lot of valuable exposure.