Beaufort Street Festival Cancelled

Beaufort Street Festival in Mount Lawley cancelled after becoming too expensive.

beaufort fest canned

The massive Beaufort Street Festival has become a victim of its own success.

The event, which has become one of Australia’s biggest street festivals since it first started in 2010, plans to shut down after it became too big and expensive to run.

With the exception of last year, when crowds were slightly down as festival-goers battled 40-degree heat, the one-day event attracted more than 150,000 people on average each year.

Beaufort Street Network chair Pam Herron, whose not-for-profit group ran the festival, confirmed the event would not be held this year.

She said the festival cost around $500,000 a year, which was too expensive to run.

“Funding the festival each year is challenging, particularly for a non-profit community organisation in the current economic conditions,” she said in a statement.

“The Network may relaunch a smaller community celebration in future years.”

Ms Herron planned to put on a number of smaller community events throughout the year.

“The Beaufort Street Festival really put Beaufort Street on the map”, she said.

“It’s time to try some new ideas. We’re planning a number of events throughout the year and looking at other ways we can create a better Beaufort Street.”

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City of Vincent mayor John Carey, who co-founded the festival, said he supported the move.

“It just became too expensive to run and all the money went into infrastructure and management, which made it harder to deliver the creative element,” he said.

“At the beginning the Beaufort Street Festival was a leader, but its effectiveness became diluted because everyone was doing the same thing.

“Yes it was popular, but is that the aspiration for a unique and creative community event?”

Mr Carey said Beaufort Street didn’t need the festival anymore.

“The street has a strong night time economy now,” he said.

Elroy Clothing owner and former The Clash bass player Nick Sheppard said he would be very disappointed if the festival didn’t return.

“I think it’s fantastic, but I think it has suffered from its own success,” he said.

“Last year the numbers were down because of the weather but you can’t control that.

“It certainly always helped us as we did a lot of trade.”

On the flipside, Lawleys Bakery Cafe owner Sarah Thomas said it was “fantastic” the festival wasn’t coming back.

“When it first started it was great for traders on the strip,” she said.

“Then it became so big and with all the pop-up cafes and restaurants, it was actually the worst trade day of the year.

“The bars do well, but some of the cafes struggle.”

 

 

Thanks Brendan Foster, WAToday.