The behind-the-scenes cost of a three-day food and wine event is more than $1 million, the festival’s chairman said.
Festivale 2018 tickets are about $20, a price tag that has drawn criticism from some community members.
But committee chairman David Dunn said event patrons were unaware of the process behind making the event a success.
“It’s a year-long process,” Mr Dunn said. “We wrap up from last year’s event then we literally start planning for the next one.”
The event costs about $300,000 just to set up, which Mr Dunn said was ‘fairly large’.
“Because we have the event in the park, we have to look at hiring a lot of the infrastructure. You’re looking at toilets, lights, staging, and generators to help with the power,” he said.
One of the event’s major costs is the entertainment.
“If you look at entertainment as not only the main stage talents but also the roaming entertainers, and all the children’s area it ends up being about $200,000,” Mr Dunn said.
“People walk in and it’s looking absolutely amazing and the tables are ready to go and [they’re] not necessarily thinking about what it cost to set up.”
From the 2017 event, Festivale made a profit of $533. Mr Dunn said the event wasn’t about making money for the committee.
“We budget throughout the year and we budget to make a small profit, only so we can put money back into the event – like hiring umbrellas for the tables to make it better for the community,” he said.
At this year’s event the committee spent $206,393 on the entertainment, including audiovisual production, entertainers, MCs, stage managers, and travel and accommodation.
The event’s logistics total was nearly $30,000.
The marquees for the event cost $50,825, security was $44,209. The site cost $20,500 to clean.
Festivale spent more than $45,000 on labour hire and the onsite electrician cost $22,500. Insurance for the festival was $10,663.
Mr Dunn acknowledged a lot of the cost was turning a place that is open to the public for 350 days a year into a safe site for Festivale.
“It’s a great location and we would never look at doing it anywhere else. City Park really does make the event,” he said.
The festival injects about $5 million back into the community and attracts more than 35,000 people.
Festivale took $584,818 in ticket sales, and was given $351,040 in sponsorship for the 2017 event.
Festivale will be held on February 2 to 4 in 2018.
Tickets are on sale now, from festivale.com.au.