Plans for a bold new Taste of Tasmania Festival

Are you moving to Tasmania or relocating to Tasmania? Make sure you visit the Taste of Tasmania Festival this year. It is absolutely fantastic and showcases the best food and wine that Tasmania has to offer.

The Taste of Tasmania festival is a wonderful event. I have been to it many, many times. When I was living in Battery Point it was fantastic to be just able to wander down and enjoy lunch or dinner from the variety of stalls.

Seating has always been a problem at the Taste of Tasmania though and I am pleased to see from the below article that this issue is being addressed.

As a Tasmanian I am not impressed though that the event planning / management job has been given to mainlanders! Surely the Hobart City Council could have found a local event management firm and kept the money in the State – particularly at the moment when the State and local businesses are struggling financially.

Also from a business point of view I think the increase in stallholder costs is too much – surely they will have to pass these huge cost increases on through higher food and wine prices and this will make the Taste less affordable for everyone.

The Taste of Tasmania is a wonderful boost to the local Hobart economy so I hope these improvements work and everyone can enjoy the Taste of Tasmania more.

If you are visiting Tasmania or just moving to Tasmania this year then I can highly recommend the Taste of Tasmania festival. Make sure you come along and enjoy all the fine food and wine that Tasmania has to offer.

What do you think of all the changes? Do you think the Taste festival will be improved? Do you bring your family to the festival every year? Make sure you register at the forum and have your say. We would really love to hear your opinion.

 TASMANIA’S nationally renowned Taste Festival will get a dramatic new look this summer, taking over waterfront roads and lawns and boosting seating by 30 per cent.

The event, a $39 million moneyspinner for Hobart, will also get a new entrance to usher in the new look, which is being built around the major changes to its original home the modernised Princes Wharf No. 1 shed.

Details of the Taste, Tasmania’s premier food and wine festival which now has a growing international reputation, were revealed yesterday by festival committee chairman and Hobart alderman Ron Christie.

The event will cost about $1 million to run this year and the operation has been handed over to Sydney events company Humm to run. Ald Christie said the Taste was being significantly expanded beyond the shed to allow more seating, the lack of which has been a major criticism by patrons over the years, and more shade during the post-Christmas and New Year festivities. There will also be a new wine bar and corporate areas.

Major improvements were made for the festival last year but the next stage is now possible because of the new outdoor decking at Princes Wharf No. 1.

“We wanted to identify the Taste area as a precinct,” Ald Christie said.

“Looking at the way PW1 has been renovated, it opens up the whole area, so we want it to be a people place that includes the lawns. There will be the sea-side precinct and the park precinct.”

Ald Christie said the whole area would be fenced off to define it, but in an aesthetically pleasing way.

“We won’t be using cyclone fencing, it will be something that’s pleasing to the eye like garden fencing and we will decorate it,” he said.

“The entry point will now be moved further up Morrison St, at the start of Parliament House lawns, and all roads will be closed to traffic.”

The facelift is part of a raft of changes for the Taste both inside and outside the Princes Wharf No. 1 shed, and some of them come after pressure from stallholders and patrons.

Plans from earlier this year to have stalls placed back-to-back down the middle of the shed, instead of down the sides, have been scrapped after pressure from stallholders.

But as a result, the number of stalls located within the refurbished shed will vary significantly from 2010-11. This summer there will be 41 single stalls inside because the space will be reduced by the new glass doors leading on to Castray Esplanade. Last year there were more than 60 stalls inside.

The total number of stalls will be 82, with additional sites in the Brasserie and Parliament House lawns and Taste Theatre on Salamanca Lawns.

The PW1 facility, infrastructure and the stalls themselves will be of a vastly improved standard. Custom-built commercial-grade kiosks are being made specifically for the PW1 venue.

The changes come at a cost, however. A premium double site will rise from $8990 last year to $14,850 while the cheapest site in the shed, standard single, will jump from $3490 to $5950.

To compensate for the reduced number of stalls within the PW1 venue, a third undercover marquee area will be added to the site to accommodate stallholders who do not necessarily require cooking facilities or the same level of servicing as that provided inside PW1.

Accordingly, a comprehensive review of stallholder fees has been conducted to take these variations into account, with the premium nature of the PW1 stalls reflected in the proposed price increases.

The new pricing structure provides a diverse range of options for stallholders.

There have been 150 expressions of interest from potential stallholders to date. As part of the application and selection process, all applicants are required to submit their menus and pricing details, with affordability for patrons a key consideration.

There will be a corporate area where the Sydney-Hobart boats pull in, which can be booked at a price.

The forecourt stage with new digital lighting will feature a tiered seating area.

With increased family activities, Parliament House lawns will now include a small food and beverage area, a big screen, jumping castles, sports activities, animals, play equipment and a performance area.

A new wine bar area, The Winery, next to Morrison St Pier, will feature 18 tables and 14 high-top bar tables.

Last year’s event broke crowd records with more than 300,000 visitors.




Photo credit: Salamanca Market | Tourism Tasmania | Richard Eastwood