Thursday, September 08, 2005

Halloween on Oxford Street Community Festival




Monday's Council meeting will consider supporting the 'Wicked Weekend' - a Halloween festival that comes to Taylor Square, Darlinghurst on the October 28 weekend. The idea of the Darlinghurst Business Partnership is to market Halloween and bring visitors to the area, providing a vibrant community focal point in Taylor Square North and featuring performances, costume competitions, street decorations, shop front displays, late night shopping and on street fashion parades. The night is modeled on the extremely successful programs run in major US cities such as New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. This would be the inaugural event for the City of Sydney.

Council is asked to donate $10,000 in cash plus $5,000 by way of a fee waiver for banner pole hire and cleansing services. After the huge and ongoing disruption to businesses along Oxford Street during the $20 million upgrade it would seem a very small investment to keep the local businesses afloat. There will be also considerable Halloween-themed activity in the nightclubs and bars in Oxford Street. The event runs simultaneously with the Sydney Food and Wine Fair and it is anticipated that there could be significant cross over from the Hyde Park event. The proposal has my full support and the Darlinghurst Business Partnership is to be congratulated for the initiative.

11 comments:

Toby said...

Parades like this that work in US cities have sprung up organically as a result of the voluntary actions of individuals.

The flaw in this proposal is thinking that government can, by administrative fiat, create a "vibrant street culture".

Oxford Street is a mess. If all of the Oxford Street "festivals" are anything to go by, this Halloween function will be more of the same - tired and drugged out drag queens, tatty gay clothing and sex shops opening late, some stalls selling cholesterol-laden dim sums, a tatty stage on which the COS Mayor can try to promote her tired old message ("villages, villages, villages" - Potemkin more like it), bad art shows, and some really sad leather men who should stay in Surry Hills, all drinking nasty wine from plastic cups in that abomination that poses as a plaza - Taylor Square (famous around the world for concrete pods with boas and postcards of non-entities in them, and a very decrepit fountain - alleged to have costs ratepayers up to $6million total - but ecouncillor might be able to enlighten us on the total costs of that boondoggle).

Mardi Gras (when it worked) did not arise from government action, no enduring tradition does - Oakeshott and Burke were on to something here.

Jake said...

So where is Clr Mallard's western free marekt approach now. If this festival can't stand on its own two feet economicaly, why are we subsidising it?
Jake

Phil Jones said...
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Peter@Newtown said...
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James said...

Please reinstate my valid comments

James said...

Hwy are you supporting this form of "business welfare"?
will these shops give back our rateryer's money when the upgrade is complete?

joshmc1 said...

Its very easy to sit back & criticise these inititives but the simple fact is that Oxford Street has fallen from its hey days. Oxford Street is way behind Newtown & is in danger of falling behind Kings Cross & the surrounding areas, becoming a new City Slum.

These ideas may or may not work, but at least someone is having a go, its what the area needs.

Some kind of quality control does need to be enforced but to totally dismiss these ideas is the wrong move & to wait around for another 'Mardi Gras' type of event to just come along with out any government support is naive & just giving up. Events starting from scratch will take years to match 'Mardi Gras' in its peak.

Phil said...

We don't want another Mardi Gras. Adn we don't our rates being poured into "business welfare" as someone else put it.
Shayne Mallard supports a free market economy.