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Floriade Nightfest – a perspective

By grundy - 26 September 2008 39

Floriade Nightfest: Floriade without the nice sunny day and beautiful tulips to admire!

My wife had somehow managed to convince me to attend the opening night of Floriade Nightfest.
Skipping over the complaining and bribing involved over the last few days, I found myself lining up at the main entrance.

To set the mood for the night, I felt the begginings of a cold setting in. Headache, fever, aching all over… it was quite appropriate in hind-sight.

We were greeted by a Floriade ‘management’ member guiding us into two lines. Left for Pre-Paid tickets, Right for those who wanted to buy tickets on the night.

We looked around for the ‘Left’ line and wandered past a few hundred people towards the gates, soon realising that the mass of people behind us was for the ‘Pre-Paid’ entrance.

The line didn’t move…

It looked like it would take over an hour or more for these hundreds of people to collect their Pre-Paid tickets from the single window at the ticket office. A friend who had lined up at 5:45 had only just entered after a 50 minutes wait.

At this stage, feeling the cold settling in, I reluctantly asked my wife if she would mind if I went back home.

As usual, she took matters in to her own hands and stormed off looking for a Floriade management member.

No idea what she said, since I was saving our spot in the line, but seconds later the staff with loud speakers announced that people with the printed Pre-Paid ticket letter could enter without having to collect their tickets!

Losing my chance for an easy escape, I entered the Nightfest.

(Slideshow below)

I’m not sure what I was expecting, fire twirling, juggling, acrobats filling the streets?

We passed several deserted stalls and headed towards the outdoor cinema screen to meet up with some friends.
The tulips did look quite spectacular at night with the coloured lighting, but it was difficult to appreciate the entire display in the low-light.

We set out a picnic and mats in front of the screen to watch the TropFest films.

It was very damp, cold and uncomfortable, but I promised I’d sit through it and try to enjoy it.
For someone that has already seen many of the TropFest films though, it was a little repetitive sitting through the event.

Afterwards we had a hot chocolate and dessert at the cafe while we waited for the acrobatic show to begin.

I wouldn’t quite call it ‘acrobatics’ after watching it though.

It was too ‘slow’ and not enough was happening to hold the interest of my friends or myself.

The act also took way too long and we found ourselves several times standing, ready to go, only to find they were still continuing the performance.

The time had passed quickly and it was 10pm by the time we packed up and started back for the cars, all of us agreeing that our next meet-up would be somewhere warmer or inside…

Sorry for the boring story, but I was hoping to convey the ‘experience’ that we had tonight.

There was definitely a lot of potential for it to be a successful event, and I hope the Floriade management learn from the ‘little things’ they did wrong and improve on it over the coming years.

If it was free, I would definitely recommend that everyone has a walk through and take in this unique aspect on Floriade, but at $15 per adult, it is an expensive night out for very little entertainment.

What’s Your opinion?


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39 Responses to
Floriade Nightfest – a perspective
deye 4:55 pm 25 Sep 08

tylersmayhem said :

I’m a real fan of outdoor cinema. I used to go to summer/autumn time oped air cinema fairly regularly in London – I’d love it if they brought it to Canberra.

I picture Stage 88 fenced off, sponsored by someone decent, charge $10 and come with a picnic, beanbag and lounge under the stars and watch a great movie or 2. For instance – Friday night have a cult classic like Pulp Fiction and/or start wars then Saturday night have a more family focused film like The Castle, then when the kiddies have gone home – chuck on Donnie Darko or the likes.

do this a few times over the year and I reckon we’d be on to a winner.

You mean like the movie by the lake held at commonwealth place or NGA each summer ? or the ones in Garema place people hardly go to ?

nathan 3:55 pm 25 Sep 08

Good work, Ticketmaster. ALLCAPS – PUNCTUATION = BETTER COMMUNICATION WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS. DONT ARGUE ITS SCIENCE.

astrojax 2:32 pm 25 Sep 08

another triumph, then, of the no-hope government and its capacity to communicate effectively and appropriately with the electorate…

Alleycat 2:03 pm 25 Sep 08

I purchased tickets online for tomorrow night and I just recieved this email:

From: Customer Service [mailto:CC.Service@ticketmaster.com.au]
Sent: Thursday, 25 September 2008 1:44 PM
To: Customer Service
Subject: FLORIADE NIGHTFEST

TO AVOID THE NIGHT TIME QUEUES PLEASE COLLECT YOUR TICKETS FROM 9AM DAILY FROM REGATTA POINT GATE BOX OFFICE OR FROM PARKES WAY BOX OFFICE FROM 9-AM TO 5PM DAILY.

Customer Service
Ticketmaster Australasia

Level 12, Freshwater Place, 2 Southbank Boulevard, Southbank Vic 3006
t: 136 100 | f: +61 (0)3 8632 2344
e: customer.service@ticketmaster.com.au | w: http://www.ticketmaster.com.au

Joe Canberran 11:59 am 25 Sep 08

I went with a few friends, took a great picnic spread, champagne, rugs, etc got in at 7pm a little late but still found an ok spot (was quite crowded!) and had a great time.

I agree the price was a little steep but I still thought it was worth it and the acrobatics act was a little long in the cool night air but I still would highly recommend it for people who enjoy the arts. Some new tropfest films would also have been an improvement but as I’ve missed the last couple most of the stuff was new to me so all good 🙂

tylersmayhem 11:40 am 25 Sep 08

I’m a real fan of outdoor cinema. I used to go to summer/autumn time oped air cinema fairly regularly in London – I’d love it if they brought it to Canberra.

I picture Stage 88 fenced off, sponsored by someone decent, charge $10 and come with a picnic, beanbag and lounge under the stars and watch a great movie or 2. For instance – Friday night have a cult classic like Pulp Fiction and/or start wars then Saturday night have a more family focused film like The Castle, then when the kiddies have gone home – chuck on Donnie Darko or the likes.

do this a few times over the year and I reckon we’d be on to a winner.

qwerky 10:44 am 25 Sep 08

Ok, what a great opportunity for a whinge! Thank goodness for Riot Act! What a HUGE palaver it was to get tickets for this non-event. After ringing the ‘hot line’, I was told I could buy tickets online (which may or may not be working). When I asked could I collect them at the gate, I was told I’d have to collect them from Manuka newsagency! Instead, I went to the tourist office on NB Ave and stood in a queue for 20 mins to buy the last two tickets they had. We got the line up to enter at about 7.30pm, just before the films were to start. People were just walking through willy-nilly, tickets or not. I was holding my two tickets, expecting to show them to one of the totally disinterested volunteers (and wouldn’t you be too in such a ridiculous situation). My husband got in with NO ticket, as did many others around us. So much for all the big deal about prebuying. And I agree: it was freezing, and the food was ridiculously overpriced. $6.20 each for an ordinary sausage sandwich! Many of the stalls were closed, Strange Fruit were just a bit too quiet and esoteric for a cold spring night. Sorry for the huge whinge, but isn’t that what RA’s for? So for anyone who’s thinking of going to these ‘night markets’, don’t waste your time. It’s just too cold still to be sitting on soggy grass watching films, even on a rubber-backed rug.

grundy 10:20 am 25 Sep 08

I should clarify that for the very dark shots of the performers during the red lighting, I set the ISO to 800. 😉
There was enough lighting on the tulips to get away with ISO 200 and about 0.6″ TV.
The quicker shots around 1/15-0.6″ using ISO 200 were of the acrobat performers during the brighter parts of the act.

This is all I was using:
http://www.canon.com.au/products/cameras_lenses_accessories/standard_zoom_lenses/efs17-85mm.aspx

Danman 10:00 am 25 Sep 08

ISO 200 on 1/15 to 2 seconds – (Insert borat accent)wow waa wee waa wee

I am a nikon user myself – but that must be fast glass 1.4ish ?

Gungahlin Al 9:56 am 25 Sep 08

I’m surprised nobody is twigging to the fact that this is an attempt to charge entrance fees without charging entrance fees. Offer something new and charge for that while keeping the normal daytime activities free. My bet is that next year they’ll introduce some special daytime activity that has an entrance fee too.

Thin edge of the wedge…

Granny 9:51 am 25 Sep 08

It looks quite beautiful really. With any luck they will have used up all their mistakes on Grundy, and the night will be warm.

*grin*

grundy 9:43 am 25 Sep 08

Danman said :

Nice low light photos – what gear you using there grundy ?

Canon 400D using a 17-85 Canon IS USM lens. (ISO 200, TV set to anywhere between 1/15 – 2″, auto AV)
Combined with an Infrared remote and tripod, it made for some nice shots!

Thumper said :

Ah, great. I’ve been roped in by Ms Thumper to go along…

Sorry Thumper, if I had to get dragged through it, so can you! 😉

AIM 9:39 am 25 Sep 08

Great pics.
I have to agree with you…$15 was a bit much for what was on offer. A good moive would’ve been a better choice…and warmer!
My friends and I have pre-paid tickets for tonight too, so we’ll see if it’s any better.
Even the “[hunting] for treasures at the bustling night markets” was pretty ordinary and not really bustling.

Thumper 9:24 am 25 Sep 08

Ah, great. I’ve been roped in by Ms Thumper to go along…

Danman 9:19 am 25 Sep 08

Nice low light photos – what gear you using there grundy ?

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