25 October 2019

Bloom times for record-breaking Floriade

| Ian Bushnell
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Nightfest at Floriade

Nightfest was a key part of Floriade’s success. Photo: File.

Floriade is confirmed as Australia’s biggest celebration of spring, with this year’s event smashing attendance records and for the first time attracting more than half a million people.

The flower festival drew the largest number of attendees in its 32-year history, with 507,550 people through the gates across the month-long festival and NightFest. This figure easily exceeds Floriade’s previous record of 481,854 people in 2014.

The ACT Government attributed the boom crowds to an increased focus on strong local partnerships, a refreshed event layout and beautiful weather, with 27,000 more visitors through the gates than last year (480,540 attendees).

Chief Minister Andrew Barr confirmed Floriade would be staying at Commonwealth Park next year, saying the Government was committed to delivering a world-class event which achieved increased visitation and strong economic return, as well as providing an outstanding visitor experience.

“This year there was a continued focus on the event layout, including a change in market stall locations, more seating around Commonwealth Park and more entertainment across multiple stages and venues,” he said.

“With its focus on attracting interstate and international visitors, Floriade showcased some of the best products from our region with Pialligo Estate, Capital Brewing Co, Contentious Character and Underground Spirits joining a range of local food vendors and market stalls.

“Over four nights across the October long weekend, NightFest delivered a jam-packed program that included big acts like The Veronicas, Mitch Tambo, Dave Hughes and Urzila Carlson, plus local acts The Baker Boys and Los Chavos.”

He said preparations were already underway for Floriade 2020, which will return to Commonwealth Park from Saturday, 12 September to Sunday, 11 October 2020.

In recent years there has been debate about whether the Government should consider another site for Floriade, due to its impact on Commonwealth Park as the event continues to grow.

But there does not appear to be an acceptable alternative site that is as suitable and accessible.

Original Article published by Ian Bushnell on The RiotACT.

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