Planning a festival.

When we moved to Donnybrook, four years ago, we knew no-one. We both still worked away, so the only people we met were the fertiliser guy, the tractor repair man, the next door neighbour, and the post office people (thanks primarily to my online shopping efforts).

The first year, I saw an ad in the local rag about how the local “Apple Festival” committee was looking for new members. Hubby gave me the evil eye and warned me to give it a couple of years before I got myself onto every committee in town. So I did. Hey, I was still working, it’s not like I had the time anyway. Plus I thought these things would be run by a tight knit group of control freaks people who have been doing it forever and who would not be open to new inputs.

So, fast forward to now, four years on, and I find myself on the aforementioned committee.  Yep, can’t help myself sometimes. Turns out they are very much open to new members and input as half of the committee burned out and are no longer involved. A public forum was held a few months back to get community input on the fate of the festival, and a shout out for new members saw me putting my hand up.

The Apple Festival has been struggling the last few years, it was called the apple festival but in recent times, there’s been not much “apple” content, despite us being the major apple growing region of the state. Only one orchard has been involved at all. If I am completely honest, I think it has been a fairly ho-hum uninspiring sort of an affair, albeit with a couple of highlights. It is definitely ready for reinvigoration.

The district has evolved well past just being about the apple, there are a lot more agricultural products to show off, as well as local artisans. As such the Festival is re-branding next year, to become the Harvest and Arts Festival of Donnybrook. It will be interesting to see and be a part of evolving this festival over the next few years. If I survive this first one.

At the first meeting this year, I managed to get myself landed into the position of Groundsperson, by foolishly opening my trap and mentioning that with my background as a surveyor, making a good map of the festival is something I could contribute. Wham, bam, before I can understand what just happened, I am now put in charge of planning the layout of the whole shebang, you know, what stuff in what zones, how each area relates to it’s neighbours, the main stage, food areas, stalls, sideshow, yada yada yada. Eeep. Oh, and making the map of course.

Anyone got any tips for laying out a festival?


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