Half-price festival tickets for Coasters
West Coasters are being offered half-price tickets to the next Hokitika Wildfoods Festival in an effort to bring locals back to the event.
The Westland District Council wants to ‘‘reengage locals with the festival’’ by giving 50 per cent discounts to the residents of the Buller, Grey and Westland districts.
Wildfoods Advisory Group chairman Mike Keenan said the price reduction would give West Coasters more incentive to indulge their senses when the food extravaganza returned to Hokitika’s Cass Square for the 29th time on March 10, 2018.
‘‘The price for tickets over the past three to five years had gone up. It’s a local event and we thought that if you lose the support of the community, especially the West Coasters, you virtually haven’t got an event as such,’’ he said.
Keenan said the group also wanted to support stallholders and recommended a special price be given to ‘‘local community stallholders’’.
‘‘The festival is a good community event and we want to make sure it has longevity.’’
The number of people at the
2017 festival was the lowest since
2013, at 5888, while 1176 people attended the afterparty. A council report suggested adverse weather conditions on the day caused a significant reduction in gate sales, but said the festival had turned a profit in the past two years.
A former organiser of the event for 21 years, Keenan said he hoped the price reduction would give West Coasters more money to play with when it came to trying the extravagant and bizarre foods.
‘‘If they’ve paid too much for getting in, they’ll spend less,’’ he said. ‘‘The key really is to make the stallholders have a successful day.’’
Wildfoods manager Sarah Brown said offering a discount was ‘‘our way of demonstrating that we consider the festival to be by locals, for locals’’.
Discounted adult and senior tickets will cost $20 each, while children aged 5 to 17 will cost $5, and a family pass is $40.
Some early-bird tickets are available online now before general admission tickets go on sale from January 10.
Hokitika’s 29th Wildfoods Festival is scheduled for March 10, 2018.