On Saturday, our team had to do the unthinkable and close our gates only 13 minutes after opening for this year's Moreton Bay Food + Wine Festival (MBFW).
We know that we're not alone and so many can relate to the devastating impact COVID-19 is having, not only financially but emotionally. The financial impact is significant (and please see below how you can help), but it’s the emotional impact that is the real star of the COVID-19 show.
Our incredible #TeamMoretonBay has been working tirelessly for months to deliver a world-class seaside food and wine festival, set to be enjoyed by 30,000+ foodies from all over SEQ.
After a taste of what was to come at our launch party on Friday night, the MBFW weekend was finally here - time to proudly show the wider community what we've been working so hard on.
Our region’s most highly anticipated festival lasted just 13 minutes, before getting the devastating news that SEQ was heading into lockdown, and the difficult decision was made to shut our gates for the safety and wellbeing of the wider community.
As you can imagine, the financial implications to us (as Festival Organisers) have been devastating.
Given the worst-case lockdown timing, by 10am Saturday the festival site was fully operational. This means, that from this moment we were responsible for 100% of the operational costs including theming, hire equipment, infrastructure, and staffing not to mention marketing costs already incurred.
On top of this, to support our incredible vendors and market stalls, we are committed to providing them with a full refund of their stall fee.
Also, to our entertainers including chefs and musicians, that kept their weekend free to perform for us, we will be paying their fees in full.
We're not going to lie, these expenses to the festival are significant, especially without any of the projected income to offset these costs.
Many of you have already asked how you can support the festival and have kindly refused to be refunded, and instead opting to donate the ticket price to MBRIT (a not-for-profit organisation that delivers this event).
If you are in a position to help and would like to show your support, you can do so by donating the cost of your ticket.
Please simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name and ticket number (if you have it handy) by 4pm Wednesday (4th Aug). Otherwise, you will be issued a full refund over the coming days, minus the booking fee collected by Eventbrite (our ticketing provider).
The support our team has received over the past few days has been nothing short of incredible. On behalf of everyone involved, we have a few words….
To our ticket holders (that includes YOU), thank you for purchasing a ticket to what was guaranteed to be a fun-filled weekend. We’re SO sorry that you didn’t get the opportunity to experience all the delicious fun we had in store – we promise we’re just as disappointed as you.
To our incredible vendors and stallholders, thank you for your kind words and understanding, especially when you were hurting. Together, we created one hell of a festival, and when things went incredibly wrong, even amongst the tears, there was a real sense of camaraderie and community onsite. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.
To our sponsors and the general community, we’ve been blown away by your support and ongoing messages of good wishes. Many of you are refusing refunds to support the loss of income. We’re so proud to call this region and our community home.
On behalf of the Moreton Bay Food + Wine Festival,
Thank you to everyone for your love, well wishes, and positive vibes over the past few days. We couldn’t have gotten through it without you.
Let’s work together to get through this lockdown! We urge everyone to please follow the directions of the Queensland Government and stay at home during this lockdown.
Our events and tourism industry have suffered long enough, and we hope that we’re one step closer to the end of this craziness.