Spoilt for fine food and music 

Despite strong winds and threatening weather, crowds flooded Launceston's City Park last night for the opening to the three-day Festivale weekend.

Even event chairwoman Lou Clark was dubious about the weather in the morning.

``It was blustery during the day but thankfully it cleared up just after the gates opened,'' Ms Clark said.

``The crowds look strong and the reports from the gate indicate that we've had a steady stream of people entering all night.

The balmy night lent itself to what Festivale was all about: food, wine and entertainment.

From the moment the gates opened at 5.30pm, music echoed throughout the site.

When it came to entertainment, Launceston favourites Bomb Squad and Funkin' Unbelievable drew crowds at the main Frontline Stage, while Stompin dance crew, Pole Revolution and Launceston band Horehound lit up the KPMG stage.

The main attraction for the evening was You Am I frontman Tim Rogers, who appeared solo and took to the stage in an uncharacteristically demure and polite manner. ``Thank you all for coming out tonight,'' Rogers said before cracking into his first song.

He fought for the spotlight against the event's 90-odd food and beverage stallholders.

Ms Clark highlighted some of her favourites: ``Cable Station Restaurant from Stanley are doing half-crayfish in their shells, baked in the oven and cooked to order.''

``Clover Hill Wines [from North-East Tasmania] are offering an oyster bar where oysters are paired with their sparkling wines.''

A quick glance around the stalls quickly revealed the favourites of the hordes. For food, piled plates of tempura mushrooms were a dime a dozen - a demand the stallholder had predicted with at least a dozen workers huddled inside the Festival Tempura Mushrooms marquee.

Festivale continues today from 11am.

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