Summerdaze fades away

Queenstown and Wanaka's month-long Summerdaze festival is no more. Last week, the Queenstown Lakes District Council decided to approve the recommendation by its events office to cancel the festival, which had been ''supported by [the] council for 10 years''.

By dropping Summerdaze, the money spent by the council on the festival could be put in the contestable events fund.

The report discussed at the council's meeting in Wanaka said the events office recommended the council cease funding the wider Summerdaze programme and that many of the small events could be picked up by alternative providers.

''It should also be noted that a significant number of alternative events already occur over the same peak period.''

The most recent summer festival was run from December 31 until January 31 and included small events such as entertainment on the village green on various days and pyjama parties for children in area libraries.

There were also two events on New Year's Eve, which attracted 18,000 people and cost about $85,000, which included fireworks, band hire and stages.

The budget for the other 11 events was $74,000, which included event management, advertising, brochures and an independent website.

Money for Summerdaze was drawn from the $700,000 events budget.

Some of the small but popular events, such as the teddy bears' picnic, could be supported by the council to run at a different time during the year, ''with potential to become fundraising opportunities for community groups''.

The report proposed the Christmas show, held at the Queenstown Recreation Ground last year and which attracted enough sponsorship to run on a ''completely cost neutral basis'', would continue to be run by the council.

It was also recommended New Year's Eve events continue to be financed from the events fund, which the council accepted.

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