The car­ni­val is over

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By ROSANNA CAN­DLER

SU­BI­ACO’S popular Subi Street Fes­ti­val has been canned.

The an­nual De­cem­ber fes­ti­val started 15 years ago and at­tracted a record 80,000 peo­ple last year.

City of Su­bi­aco place man­ager and Visit Su­bi­aco di­rec­tor Matthew Gould said he made the decision late last month after the coun­cil de­layed ap­prov­ing the mar­ket­ing plan and bud­get for almost six months.

“My Visit Su­bi­aco team con­firmed that they usu­ally would have started plan­ning for it in Jan­uary or Fe­bru­ary. The City did not have any re­sources, noth­ing was planned, there had been enor­mous staff turnover and we didn’t have the $300,000 we needed,” he said.

Su­bi­aco chief ex­ec­u­tive Stephen Tin­dale said the coun­cil de­ferred ap­prov­ing its mar­ket­ing pro­gram and bud­get to re­duce the com­pul­sory business levy by 30 per cent this fi­nan­cial year.

SU­BI­ACO place man­ager Matthew Gould says he is plan­ning a se­ries of events in the lead-up to Christ­mas that will help fill the void left by scrap­ping the 2014 Subi Street Fes­ti­val.

Mr Gould said he un­der­stood the street party was well-es­tab­lished, but it was bet­ter to call it off rather than “do it half-cocked” and risk neg­a­tive feed­back.

He said he post­poned in­form­ing long-term spon­sors and par­tic­i­pat­ing busi­nesses, such as the Western Sub­urbs Weekly, Nova 93.7 and Hid­dle­stone Electrics, that the Subi Street Fes­ti­val had been can­celled.

“We wanted to make sure we had some­thing con­struc­tive to take to them, to say ‘the fes­ti­val isn’t hap­pen­ing, but here are other things that you can be in­volved in’,” Mr Gould said.

“Rather than bring in a fes­ti­val over a few hours, I re­ally want to do some­thing our com­mu­nity can take own­er­ship of.

“My team are cur­rently talk­ing to all the busi­nesses at Sta­tion Street precinct and the end of Rokeby Road to see if they want to be in­volved in an ex­cit­ing event we have planned for Oc­to­ber 18.”

Mr Gould said Visit Su­bi­aco would host a block party and pub­lic art in­stal­la­tion events next month, a hawk­ers mar­kets and a fresh food mar­ket along Rokeby Road on Thurs­day nights.

“We are also or­gan­is­ing some­thing for De­cem­ber that has never been done be­fore called the 16 Days of Subi,” he said.

Su­bi­aco Ho­tel co-owner Judy Mon­aghan said the ho­tel had been in­volved with the Subi Street Fes­ti­val for many years by or­gan­is­ing the street band and run­ning an al­fresco bar.

“I can only jus­tify los­ing the fes­ti­val in the in­terim of re-jig­ging events in Su­bi­aco,” Mrs Mon­aghan said. “Hope­fully this can be a dy­namic move, so we can move for­ward rather than go back­wards.”

Su­bi­aco Business As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Ge­off Par­nell said the business com­mu­nity was in favour of run­ning events through­out the year that brought peo­ple to Su­bi­aco on a con­sis­tent ba­sis.

“I think there will be a mixed re­ac­tion to the Subi Street Fes­ti­val be­ing can­celled; some com­mu­nity mem­bers and business own­ers will feel let down,” Mr Par­nell said.

Hid­dle­stone Electrics ac­counts man­ager Natalie Hid­dle­stone, whose late fa­ther Vern Hid­dle­stone had or­gan­ised the street light­ing for the fes­ti­val since its in­cep­tion, said she was very dis­ap­pointed.

“Dad loved the street fes­ti­val, he would def­i­nitely be mak­ing a real noise about it be­ing can­celled,” Ms Hid­dle­stone said. “I think it’s a ter­ri­ble shame that coun­cil didn’t do ev­ery­thing they pos­si­bly could to con­tinue this tried and true, very suc­cess­ful event that brought so many peo­ple to Su­bi­aco.”

Graphic: Carly PIl­ton

The Subi Street Fes­ti­val has been taken off the streets.

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