End of an era for Devonport Festival?

Published: Thu 5 Sep 2013 01:32 PM
Media release
5 September 2013
End of an era? Devonport Food, Wine & Music Festival takes time out in 2014
For the past 24 years the More FM Devonport Food, Wine & Music Festival has been the centre-piece of Auckland’s summer, providing great food, wine and music while raising more than $2 million for community groups and charitable causes. Organiser Gavin Busch says “We are sad to announce that the festival will not be running in 2014. We’ve done our best and the Devonport – Takapuna Local Board has been supportive, but with so many heavily council funded events on at the same time next year along with the capital works occurring in Devonport itself, we just can’t find a way to deliver the quality event people have come to enjoy.”
Mr Busch is clearly disappointed and with good reason. Next year would have been the 25th anniversary of the original Devonport Food & Wine Festival. “25 consecutive years is quite an achievement. We’re really proud of how the event has enabled Rotary to support so many community groups and worthy projects over that time. Having spoken with Rotary, our sponsors and suppliers we know how disappointed they are with the decision, but they are also keenly aware of the issues we have been facing with Council since the Super City was created. We thank them for their understanding and look forward to talking to them about returning the event to Auckland in the future.”
The festival has become synonymous with summer on the North Shore, and its appeal is widespread. It’s a major draw card across Auckland and also attracts a large number of international and domestic visitors. Although Mr Busch is trying to stay positive “the reality is I feel like I need to apologise, it’s really sad, more so because a more supportive council could have avoided this eventuality. The current event strategy and council environment doesn’t support this type of event, but it’s a changing city and it could come back.”
Community organisations and charities that have benefitted from the festival over the years include:
Kids Can, Youthline, Plunket, North Shore Hospital Foundation, Rotary Polio Eradication Programme, Auckland City Mission, Waikatere Boating Club, Starship Hospital
Plus many more….

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