Boardwalk Beer Festival - the aftermath

In case you haven't heard, this year's Boardwalk Beer festival was a sellout and from all accounts, a big success. We caught up with event organiser Luke Tilse, to get his version of the story, post event.

Congrats on officially selling out, there are so many posts on the Boardwalk Beer Festival Facebook event page from people chasing tickets. How does this make you feel? 

Feels great! Fantastic to see it grow each year. The comments seem overwhelming positive after the event as well, which is great. It's still a rough diamond though, which I'm hoping to improve upon each year. 
Was there a stand-out moment for you?

I thought the music was great this year. Both the lead-up act and main band really helped make the vibe that little bit more awesome. Also, my cousin did a low fly by in his ultra-light plane. He took some fantastic photos from above the festival. 

What motivates you to stage this event each year?

Honestly, because it would be a shame to stop it after seeing it grow so much. It is a lot of work for very little financial return, but when it all comes together it is all worth it. It's also a great cross promotion for my other businesses (Happy Wombat and Apple Truck Cider). 

Have you set a date for the festival in 2017? Is there anything you will do differently? 

Not yet, but I liked having it on the middle weekend of the school holidays this year. If we are to grow Newcastle as a tourist destination, having an event like this when everyone is planning their school holidays could help to fill a few hotels. As long as it doesn't line up with Easter, that will be the plan from now on. 

There will be quite a few things we do differently. I may change the format of the food stalls, I will do away with physical tokens and implement a wristband or card based token system, I may also try and incorporate other retailers. Due to increased demand also, we may run it over two days so that we don't sell out and leave people disappointed. 

Do you have any advice for local businesses people who are wanting to stage an event?

Get Newcastle Now to help you! Tim Cooper is absolutely fantastic and I honestly don't think I would have been able to get through the red tape nightmare that a festival like this can involve without him. Also, consultation is key. Particularly if it involves alcohol. We had meetings with licencing as much as five months before the event to ensure that we were dotting all our I's and crossing our T's. That way we could ensure we had everything on track before we even had our applications in. 

Problems still happen on the day, believe me, but this helps minimise them. 

Above: Luke Tilse and his wife Louise.

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