A new-look Bulimba Festival is coming soon.
When the RSL announced that they couldn’t find the funding to put on the popular Bulimba Festival this year, the community was crestfallen. But if Bulimba local and Love Your Local Markets creator Rebecca Lawrence has her way, a high-end food and wine festival celebrating Oxford St’s foodie culture will come along in November to fill the gap.
“The day the RSL said they were cancelling, I had at least 20 messages from random people saying, ‘You need to do something about this’,” Lawrence says. “So I got in touch with our local councillor, Shayne Sutton, who said she would back it. Since then, word has spread, and my Facebook page is running hot with people saying, ‘what can we do to help?’ I think the feeling is very strong that people want to do something.”
Lawrence expects the Bulimba Food & Wine Festival to go ahead on Sunday 15 November. She says the festival will have a different focus to the RSL’s previous offerings.
“As a local resident, I’ve always felt that the Bulimba Festival had nothing to do with Bulimba,” Lawrence says. “It was just a festival that happened to be in Bulimba, but it could have been held anywhere.
“Oxford Street is an ‘eat street’, you know? Most people come to Bulimba because Oxford Street is a great place to eat. We’ve also got a great cinema and some great shops. It’s a destination street. So it seems to me that previous festivals had missed the mark (by not focusing on that). I really want to celebrate fine dining, because we have a lot of great restaurants and cafes around here and a lot of great chefs. I want to put Oxford Street back on the map as a foodie destination.”
Lawrence insists the festival will go ahead and will be family-friendly (“I want people to bring their kids and their picnic blankets and their dogs and chill out,” she says), but is currently seeking sponsors to help pay for things like road closures, policing, and fencing around a licensed area of Bulimba Memorial Park. If you want to help, call Rebecca Lawrence on 0404 600 303 or email Rebecca@loveyourlocalgroup.com.au.
“I really want it to be very grassroots,” she says. “I’m thinking food trucks in laneways, I’m thinking live music in little pop-up places. I want it to be funky, I want it to be cool, because I think that’s what this area is, but we just haven’t necessarily had anyone to channel it yet. Everyone’s doing cool stuff individually, but I want to bring everyone together and make it really rock!”
If you want to get involved with the festival, attend the Bring Back The Festival briefing at Oxford 152 this Wednesday 1 April from 6pm.
Are you looking forward to the Bulimba Food & Wine Festival? Let us know in the comments below!