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.
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.