Stallholders call for refund
GREY Lynn Park Festival stallholders will be left out of pocket after organisers revealed they will not be rescheduling the festival and no refunds will be made.
The event offers live music with food, clothing and jewellery stalls and has attracted about 100,000 people in the past.
Organisers called off the November 15 festival because of a bad weather forecast and say it will be too complicated to set up twice.
The event has only been cancelled once before in its 29-year history when a cyclone was predicted to hit Auckland in 2005.
Festival organiser Kate Burke refused to speak to the Auckland City Harbour News but in an interview with bFM she defends the festival trust board’s decision not to provide stallholders with a refund.
Conditions on the event’s website state there is no rain date if the event is cancelled and there are no refunds on stalls once booked.
She has no idea at this point how much money will be made from the cancelled event.
‘‘We haven’t put our stall fee up in 20 years and that is because we know it’s a gam- ble, outdoor events are a gamble.’’
Ms Burke says she feels for the stallholders who were unable to trade on the day.
‘‘I know that for some people this is money that they were banking on for their Christmas but we are not making money into our own pockets.’’
Gary Francis is a regular at the event with his $5 Deli and says it is the food stallholders who have been hit the hardest due to their perishable stock.
‘‘This isn’t the first and won’t be the last festival or market to be cancelled due to weather.
‘‘But it would be good as a gesture of goodwill to pro- vide some kind of refund.’’
The chef would like to see stallholders reimbursed with 50 per cent of their fee or receive a 50 per cent discount to set up at next year’s festival.
Suggestions made on social media sites that the cancellation is a fraudulent attempt at making money are hurtful, Ms Burke says.
Stallholders are charged upwards of $100 plus GST to set up at the event. Some are calling for the organisers to refund their fee following the late cancellation.
Vicki Stoner wrote on the festival’s Facebook page that rain is no reason to cancel a festival.
‘‘I have been working so hard towards this. I expect a full refund if you cancel this far out, on the day is different if it really is atrocious weather.’’
Tim Phua has run a stall at the event with his father for more than 12 years and wrote that he supports the organiser’s decision to cancel the event.
‘‘I would have to say this is a very good call. I remember in 2006 it wasn’t cancelled and it poured down that day, my Dad lost more because it went ahead.’’
Ms Burke says seasoned stallholders know the territory. ‘‘They know that weather plays a part in that and there’s not a lot people can do about that.’’
Annual event: Crowds of people enjoy the Grey Lynn Park Festival on a much sunnier day.