DESPITE the cancellation of the much-hyped Nitro Circus event due to extreme weather conditions, Warrnambool and south-west residents had thrown their support behind the event through strong ticket sales, setting an encouraging precedent to attract more major events to the city.
Warrnambool City Council’s visitor economy manager David McMahon said while it was disappointing the show couldn’t proceed, “it still highlighted Warrnambool’s ability to host major events”.
“We appreciate the community’s understanding and how well the community got behind the event to buy tickets and to welcome their visiting friends and family even though the event didn’t go ahead,” he said.
Mr McMahon said the cancellation of Nitro Circus had come at no cost to the council. “Like all ticket holders, we will also be refunded our hosting fee,” he said.
He was hopeful Nitro Circus would return in the near future.
“We hope to continue to work with Nitro to have them back at their earliest opportunity,” Mr McMahon said.
He said the show’s cancellation wouldn’t stop the city from attracting a new, wider mix of events.
A new events strategy is up for public consultation on the Have Your Say Warrnambool website.
The plan aims to generate a diverse and vibrant annual calendar of events and attract new, iconic events to Warrnambool that drive tourism visitation.
“We are looking for a mix that services both the community for entertainment and engagement purposes within the region of the great south-west, as well as importantly attracting a high yield of visitors,” Mr McMahon said. “That mix is about it not being just sport, or family or children’s entertainment, but attracting the right mix of visitors for all types of events, to make sure we can attract every type of visitor to the city.
“Community events are a major priority for us. We are currently working with our annual event organisers to talk about how we can grow and enhance their events to service the community as well as attract regional visitors. It’s also about re-investing in business and conferencing events to attract events that happen during the week. We want to keep driving mid-week stays and expenditure.”