Rolling Stones cancellation hits Hanging Rock hard

The postponement of the Rolling Stones Australian tour hasn't just dashed the hopes of music fans, it has also hit the Hanging Rock region hard.

Towns in the area, including Woodend and Kyneton, will lose millions of dollars in economic benefit.

More than 20,000 visitors were expected at Hanging Rock for the March 30 concert, booking out accommodation and restaurants and providing work for local food and wine suppliers as well as tradespeople employed on concert infrastructure.

As stunned fans came to terms with the tour postponement, accommodation operators were starting to take cancellations on Wednesday.

Woodend bed-and-breakfast operator Patricia Leonard said her five-room property Auberge had been booked out.

"But already my guests are cancelling and I'll probably have no business at all for that weekend," she said.

"We're not a big accommodation place but every square inch was booked out for the Stones. It affects us completely. But what can you do?"

Ms Leonard said she was providing full refunds to her guests who had each booked in for a three-day minimum stay.

"It's not just us, it effects the whole town," she said.


"The town gets clogged up with traffic and visitors on concert weekends. Everything that is going to happen, happens around the concerts, right down to street barbecues and the cake stalls for schools and scouts. It is like a big party for the weekend and we have been talking about it since the tickets went on sale."

Macedon Ranges Shire Council mayor, Cr Roger Jukes, said the council will work with Frontier Touring to identify a new date for the Rolling Stones performance at Hanging Rock, following the death of Mick Jagger's partner L'Wren Scott.

"While it is disappointing for concert-goers and businesses in our region, we fully understand the circumstances and the need for the Rolling Stones to postpone their tour at this difficult time," he said.

Macedon Ranges Shire Council has a deal with Frontier Touring to stage up to four concerts per year at Hanging Rock over the next five years.

Previous concerts have been by Bruce Springsteen, Leonard Cohen and Rod Stewart.

The two Springsteen concerts in March last year were attended by 34,000 people with an estimated economic impact of $9.7 million.

The Stewart and Cohen concerts in 2011 and 2012 had an estimated impact of $2.3 million and $1.9 million.

Kylie Lethbridge, the manager of tourism and economic development at Macedon Ranges Shire Council, said accommodation in the region was nearly booked out for the Stones.

She said many businesses had been gearing up to welcome the influx of people.

"The towns are abuzz (during concert weekends) with people browsing shops, eating at cafes and restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner, filling their cars up at petrol stations and provisioning for picnics.

"We are encouraging those who have booked accommodation not to cancel but to make the most of the weekend in this beautiful region."

Meanwhile, the council has started a $4 million project to develop infrastructure at Hanging Rock to support future events. The project includes two new visitor shelters, the supply of electricity, water and lighting.

"The concerts are the best thing to ever happen to the area," Ms Leonard said. "I just wish we had more than one a year."