Mu­sic con­fer­ence ben­e­fits lo­cal busi­nesses

Food es­tab­lish­ments in Marys­town saw in­creased sales; or­ga­niz­ers say room for over­all im­prove­ments

The Southern Gazette - - Front Page - BY COLIN FAR­RELL MARYS­TOWN, N.L. Colin.far­rell@south­erngazette.ca

With the in­flux of peo­ple who came to Burin Penin­sula to take part in the re­cent Live at Heart New­found­land Global Mu­sic Busi­ness Con­fer­ence, the in­creased num­ber of peo­ple in town also meant for in­creased spend­ing at some lo­cal busi­nesses dur­ing the five-day con­fer­ence.

“We did see a few ex­tra peo­ple for sure,” ac­cord­ing to Joyce Martin, man­ager of the Sub­way store in Marys­town. “One spe­cific group, they were in here about three-four times a day.”

Martin said it was nice to see new faces com­ing into the store. She feels the event was a good thing for the area both so­cially and eco­nom­i­cally.

“It’s good for ev­ery­body,” she said. “A lot of peo­ple went out and watched it and we def­i­nitely seen a big in­crease here for the week.”

Martin feels that with the Sub­way brand be­ing known world­wide it also con­trib­uted to the in­creased busi­ness.

“You go to Sub­way any­where, if you’ve been there be­fore, you know what you’re get­ting — you know what to look for,” she noted.

Oth­ers in the area also re­ported that busi­ness was up. Mary Lou Mur­phy from the Tim Hor­tons in Marys­town told The South­ern Gazette she was out of town dur­ing the week, but heard em­ploy­ees say­ing they had in­creased num­bers.

Evan Mur­ray, one of the or­ga­niz­ers be­hind the Live at Heart New­found­land event said get­ting peo­ple to come to the area is just a part of it.

“The busi­nesses need to be more ag­gres­sive about bring­ing those peo­ple in to spend that money,” he said.

Mur­ray also said the event could open the door for lo­cal en­trepreneurs who can fill any gaps in the lo­cal mar­kets.

“An­other thing a lot of peo­ple were look­ing for were knick­knacks and such,” he said. “Peo­ple were look­ing to by New­found­land sou­venirs… there wasn’t a lot of those places.”

Room for improve­ment Mur­ray ex­plained that many of the acts dur­ing this year’s event were not well known out­side of their own ar­eas, and thinks that could be one of the rea­sons for low at­ten­dance dur­ing the mu­si­cal per­for­mances.

“Next year we hope to have head­lin­ers for the event, like (for ex­am­ple) Sloan on Fri­day and Joel Plas­kett on Satur­day,” Mur­ray said.

Through­out the up­com­ing year they will be look­ing for ways to get more peo­ple in­volved in the mu­sic con­fer­ence.

“This year be­cause of fund­ing, and the time re­straints that we worked with we did the best we (could) to move and shuf­fle peo­ple,” he said.

Mur­ray said this year was a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

“Like with all good things we just have to con­sider what the goal is, what the ex­pec­ta­tion is —what we’re try­ing to show­case of the re­gion when peo­ple visit here,” he ex­plained. “it’s just about weight­ing it out (and) tak­ing the pros and cons of what hap­pened this year (and learn­ing from it)”.

COLIN FAR­RELL—THE SOUTH­ERN GAZETTE

Swedish punk band “Those With­out” fre­quented many busi­ness in the Marys­town area, in­clud­ing the lo­cal Sub­way restau­rant.

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