More Blues Brews too close to call

A decision on whether the Tauranga Roundtable will hold another Blues Brews and BBQs festival next year is yet to be made.

The festival on Saturday is considered a success with about 9000 people enjoying beer music and food in the sun, and raising between $40,000-50,000 for the service club.

The amount is well down on past years for a number of reasons, says organiser David Mustard; the organising committee decided to hold the ticket price at $25 and to absorb the GST increase.

“We also reduced the total number of tickets we were prepared to sell,” says David.

“We reduced that down to 8500. We have sold as many as 12,000 tickets.

“Part of our strategy was to make the event more attractive to a mature audience.

"Providing more space and a more relaxed environment is important, so total sales are lower than what we have done in the past.

“There are a number of dynamics that go on with the event and it’s not just purely about maximising profit. It’s about making sure the event is really successful for our site holders, that our people that attend the event have a really good festival experience, and that Roundtable ends up with some money that it can give away as a result of it. So it’s as much looking at the long term as what we achieve on the day.

“Looking at all of those things quite frankly we are delighted.”

They achieved good enough crowd numbers to keep the stall holders happy, he thinks the public had a great event, and there are only minor criticisms from police and the licensing authority.

“There are a few little things that they picked up with the liquor licensing of some bars, but they stressed they were minor and the police are happy with the crowd behaviour, so collectively we have got to put a pretty big tick beside it,” says David.

Deciding to continue is becoming tougher. It costs about $100,000 to hold Blues Brews, and there were a lot of compliance cost increases this year. Liquor licensing went from $63 to $1800, display signs have gone from $40 to $300, and the list goes on says David.

“Next year? I don’t know. It depends on what the committee decides,” says David. “Certainly the whole consents process, and the compliance is a lot more stringent to try and achieve.

“We’ve done very well this time, but we need to sit down with the police and licensing authority and work through the issues that they do have, if any. They have indicated there are some minor points that they want to discuss with us. So we certainly need to have a discussion with them and see where we are.”

Funding to community events is decided on merit. Not all the income from Blues Brews is given away in any given year, says David.

“The club’s always been mindful that blues brews may not last forever, and they have been keen over the years to accumulate a fund so that they have got another revenue stream so that they can continue adding value into the community,” says David.

“Anyone’s welcome to go into the charities commission website and you can find the roundtable account and see what the balance sheet is. It’s all there as public information.

Accumulating a ‘rainy day fund’ is also a result of the club’s decision to self insure in the event a Blues Brews gets rained off.

“You can’t get insurance for these sorts of things,” says David. “You can insure against an adverse weather event, but it’s horrendous.

“Insurance is exceedingly difficult to claim on because you need to be able to prove that it was a threat to life and limb. If it was simply a very wet day and people didn’t turn up, even though you have wet weather insurance, doesn’t mean to say you can claim on it.

We’ve been through all that and we have decided that it’s actually more cost effective to self-insure. Hence we have always kept a fund aside to cover that sort of rainy day eventuality.”

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Hope it continues.

Posted on 19-01-2011 10:11 | By Chaudog

The organisers did a terrific job. One of the better Blues Brews I have attended.


Posted on 19-01-2011 10:07 | By RawPrawn

Now that the event can be more freely enjoyed by mature and responible patrons, I believe a modest increase in the ticket price (say 20%) would not be unreasonable.

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