Punter lack a problem
Events run at loss after attendance falls
Poor attendance at the Alexandra Craft Beer Festival and Picnic in the Park could jeopardise the future of the events.
Bands played, beer was on tap and children’s attractions abounded.
Even the sun beamed down on both days. But the people were sorely missing, Promote Alexandra secretarymanager Martin McPherson said.
Committee members were scratching their heads at the poor turnout.
‘‘It’s beyond me,’’ McPherson, also event organiser of the iconic annual Alexandra Blossom Festival, said.
‘‘I’m bitterly disappointed the events have not been more successful.
‘‘We put a lot of energy into making them happen so it’s very disappointing when they’re not successful and when we don’t know why.’’
About 400 attended the blues and brews festival, which meant the event had run at about a $4000 loss, he said.
He had not yet calculated the loss following the picnic event but guessed it was considerable.
‘‘We’re very disappointed in the lack of support because for a number of years I have received feedback from locals that ‘nothing happens in Alexandra’ over the Christmas, New Year period.
‘‘The promotions group has responded by putting on this gig and we didn’t get the numbers required to make it pay.’’
Admission to the picnic cost $20 for a family of five and under 5s were free, and for the festival, $20 a ticket.
People could expect to pay at least double that to get into a similar event in Queenstown, McPherson said.
The group could not absorb
Christchurch residents Isabella, 7, and Anthony, 4, van Soest enjoyed a day out in Alexandra at the Picnic In The Park held at Pioneer Park while visiting their Central Otago-based grandparents. such a financial loss and there would be serious discussion about whether either event could be held again, he said.
‘‘I don’t think it’s sustainable. When we did the first blues and brews event in 2012, we realised things take a while to build up, and we hoped this year would be the year when we would crack that line. Sadly, it’s a case of if you don’t use it, you lose it.’’
Public feedback was welcome, McPherson said.
Let down: Promote Alexandra secretary manager Martin McPherson is bitterly disappointed at attendance at both the Alexandra Craft Beer Festival and Picnic in the Park events.