Friday, September 11, 2009

Bellingen community fest lost to unaustralian profit motive

Click for more on my bioregion
Bellingen is called, or used to be called, the Azalea Town and all the flowers are coming out in full bloom around town. Our climate and slightly acidic but fertile soil are perfect for azaleas, that queen of flowers. Sadly, the Azalea Festival isn't held any more, with its parade of colourful floats in the main street and a plethora of community activities. This tradition, held each year around September 15, encouraged fun and community participation at no charge, and the town looked fantastic as almost everyone had azaleas in their gardens, with the show of whites, pinks and reds a feast for the eye.

Sadly, it has recently gone, and the only festivals now are specifically genre music ones, commercial ventures charging very high entry fees. The next such festival is in October, and entry for an adult is an incredible $230 (for three days), beyond the pockets of all but the well-heeled. The owners of the festival require visitors to wear wristbands -- shades of authoritarianism, unnecessary and very unaustralian.

I would love to see the not-for-profit Azalea Festival reinstated, and from what I can gather, so would many other Bellingenites. Not a festival that focuses on one or more types of music at high prices, but one that celebrates the community and a wide variety of aspects of culture and arts, designed for community, and pride in community, not for private profit.

Categories: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker