On Sunday 4 March, even before the GlenferrieFestival official kick off time, families were enjoying the novelty of walking up and down the middle of Glenferrie Road, which was blocked off to vehicles. By midday the festival was filled with children running between the amusements, well scattered along the road and some side streets, from Barkers to Burwood Road.
According to the festival website there were 110,000 people in attendance, topping last year’s 90,000.
Festival goers enjoyed the range of stalls from local Glenferrie traders, community groups, artisans and a huge range of food. On stage were cocktail demonstrations, fashion parades, youth bands and a dog show.
The Glenferrie Festival is clearly a fun family day for locals. However, what is the day like for our local traders who fund the event through a special rate and charge on their council rates?
After speaking to a cross section of traders, we found that, for the majority of clothing and food shops, this year’s festival was their best yet in sales. Other traders did not make many sales, however they hope the brand exposure will translate into future business.
From past experience some traders have found there is not much value from participating in the festival, due to the inconvenience or lack of accessibility, and therefore they do not participate in the event. Some traders that opened this year had this same experience and are unlikely to participate in coming years.
Traders generally found the festival well organised leading up to the event. However, on the morning of the festival there were some difficulties with the location of stalls, set up of marquees, access to driveways and parking. During the day some areas of the street became congested as roving entertainers were concentrated centrally, rather than roving the entire length of the street. Most of these issues were quickly resolved.
Being so busy on their own stalls, most traders were not able to take in the entire festival. When some did make time to see scheduled events, the shows were not keeping to time, so they missed out. Traders had festival goers asking when and where the “deconstructed parade” was, where the ticket booths were, where the various stages were and most of all where the advertised camel rides were. In future, an easily accessible map and clear schedule of events could answer these queries. However, there simply were no camels this year, but instead ponies - with no humps!
According to the Glenferrie Traders Association 2016/17 financial report, the Glenferrie Festival cost $124,979.00 last year. This excludes the event managers consulting fees, which were $79,125.00 for 2016/17 for the part time role which includes festival planning.
Luckily in the case of Saturday’s fire the incident was kept under control, but this is not always the case. Fires can spread quickly and easily and if the streets and lanes are kept clean by locals and traders we can
minimise fire risks.