Festivities a great chance to entice visitors to region


OPINION: Di Hay, Venture Timaru operations manager

You’ve heard this before, but here’s another reminder: if we want to get more events in our district, it’s important that we all support them.

Over the past month, there’s been such a wonderful range of events in our communities Matariki at the Aigantighe Art Gallery to the Timaru CBD’s Matariki night market and the Geraldine Lantern festival, not to forget the Geraldine Uke Fest and all were great successes with huge support from locals.

The feedback we’re getting from hospitality and accommodation providers is that July was a pretty good month for them there’s no doubt the combination of the school holidays and the range of events helped contribute to this. People have been out and about, spending, wrapping up warmly and making the most of mid-winter.

Now with spring approaching, the busy season of spring and summer events is about to begin. One of the first will be the new food and music one-day festival Bandquet.

There was much excitement earlier this year when Bandquet was launched for Caroline Bay along with a sister event in Hanmer Springs, but Covid-19 restrictions forced the Timaru event to be postponed until October 9.

This week the promotion of the rescheduled event gets under way, and Venture Timaru is supporting Bandquet as we’re hoping it will become an annual fixture at Caroline Bay.

The key now is to sell tickets we need locals to get behind it! So we encourage you to grab some tickets now, and invite your friends and whanau to visit Timaru for Bandquet.

Our data shows most of the visitors to the Timaru district come from Canterbury firstly, then Otago, and Bandquet is an ideal opportunity to attract these groups to our beautiful seaside city.

If you’re inviting people to come, there’s an option of buses from Dunedin and Christchurch to make it an easy day trip and to help ease pressure on our accommodation providers.

Headlining Bandquet is singer Mitch James, who has just finished a national tour and is getting rave reviews. Also playing will be multi-award-winning singer, songwriter and producer Jason Kerrison and another award-winning artist, country pop singer-songwriter Kaylee Bell.

Remember, too, that under 18-year-olds get in free with a paying adult – this is something we worked on with the event organisers to try to make the event family friendly – and there’s a fabulous Kidopian World on site.

There are also corporate deals available with discounts for groups. Contact our office to find out more (03) 687-2682 and buy tickets here www.thebandquet.co.nz