Griffith City Council has declined requests for sponsorship from a number of festivals and conferences planned for next year, citing budgetary concerns.
Councillors were faced with a tricky decision as multiple groups appealed for funding or sponsorship for their upcoming festivals, including the organisers of the Blood, Sweat and Beers festival that has skyrocketed in popularity over it's first two years.
The homebrewing festival that marks Easter weekend is entering it's third year in 2024, but while it's certainly a popular event, organiser Megan Tai said in her appeal that they were barely breaking even.
"We've done the budget for next year, it's going to cost us 90 to 100 grand. We've been asking funding from businesses, but I find that the second year, they don't fund as much as the first year," she explained.
"I'm running out of funding. We just need the extra support from council ... I don't really see how we are going to put this on without the extra support."
Ms Tai said that at last year's festival, they only broke even on Good Friday - the day before the festival.
Councillor Anne Napoli was concerned with how sponsoring the event would look to the community following this year's budget crunch.
"Times are hard, and we've all been asked to tighten our belts. I don't know how the community is going to feel to sponsor something like this," she said.
"I applaud the ladies for putting on the event, and it's great to have events like this in the community but I'm also concerned about cost to the ratepayers."
While there was some confusion about what they were voting on, and Ms Tai even said she was still unsure of whether they had received funding when leaving the chamber, councillors decided against providing any additional sponsorship for the event.
IN OTHER NEWS:
The festival is still eligible for $5000 in seed funding from the Tourism Event Attraction budget, however the seed funding is only available for events in their first three years - meaning they will not be able to receive the same grant in 2025 or beyond.
A similar request for sponsorship was put in from the organisers of the Associated Country Women of the World South Pacific Conference, currently planned to be held in Griffith in September 2024.
With much less discussion this time, Council voted to waive the Griffith Regional Theatre's fees to allow for the conference to use the space as well as sponsor ten $70 delegate tickets for attendees to participate an associated dinner.
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