Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

August 26th 2011
A tale of two parties

Dancing in the streets at a Bay Days Horseshoe Street Party With the annual Bay Days festival just around the corner starting Friday September 2 there’s some heavy decision making for Magnetic Islanders and visitors attending one festival event and it hangs on the word “party”. Following a late, surprise shift in venue from Horseshoe Bay, Sealink’s Magnetic Island Race Week Street Party, set for Sunday September 4, has been moved to Base backpackers in Nelly Bay. But the move has now seen the establishment of another ‘party’ - one comprising Horseshoe Bay business people who are feeling just a tad left out of the fun and are planning their own party’s party to go ahead anyway for the same day.

And the word “street” seems to have been run over in the process too. The Sealink party’s party will now be on the beach and called a festival while the Horseshoe party’s party will be on the footpath and in the foreshore park. No car need fear the sight of dancers in da streets on Sunday September 4!

Magnetic Times has attempted to learn just why the Sealink party’s party has driven itself back to Nelly and the answers from the new owners of Sunferries were, one might say, professionally opaque.

Sealink’s Marketing Manager, Nadia Jones said, “It is with regret that we advised the Magnetic Island business and residential community that the Race Week Horseshoe Bay Street Festival will be not going ahead this year. Sealink staff put in a great deal of effort and pre-planning to get this new event off the ground for the 2011 regatta, with onsite planning, community consultation and council planning and consultation undertaken. However it was decided for a variety of reasons, that this event was not viable for the 2011 regatta.
“The Horseshoe Bay Street Festival was not widely advertised as we were still in the process of planning the event, therefore no details were released to the wider community. The plans for the event were released to Horseshoe Bay businesses during the community consultation phase and to TOBMI who were notified of our plan to hold the event.
“To maintain the quality of the event and to meet capacity requirements of the regatta, the social function for Sunday 4th September has been shifted to one of Magnetic Island’s prime scenic properties X Base in Nelly Bay. The Zinc 100.7 Beach Party will run from 10am till late, this will still be a free event for the residents of Townsville and Magnetic Island...”

Regretful as Nadia’s Sealink party must be, that the ‘quality’ of the Horseshoe event, among other matters, could be under question, there are doubts about just how much leg work that party put into the Horseshoe party to start with. Bay Day’s organiser, Lorna Hempstead AM, emailed Magnetic Times after an extensive colour flyer was produced promoting the gig. She wrote, "Great disappointment when planning appears to have started so early, but not apparently carried through.  Sunferries/Sealink staff well aware of Bay Days and the effort we put into the marketing so a pity that the event flows through to 10,000 brochures - that now has to be retracted in some way.”

Meanwhile, in Horseshoe Bay, local businessman, Guy Tickle has told Magnetic Times, “All of us (Horseshoe Bay) businesses said, ‘It’s advertised so let’s do it!’”

According to Guy Tickle the Horseshoe party’s party is fully funded by local Horseshoe Businesses. “We’ve got the Sara Shaw Quartet playing at Barefoot and entertainment flowing along the sidewalk from there."

Guy believes that two objections were made over the Sealink party’s party about a month and a half ago but that those issues could have been sorted out.

As for where to go for punters not sure which party’s party to vote for with their feet, it’s probably too early to say with the Horseshoe Bay party just getting their party sorted but Guy Tickle said, “The family side is more promoted at Horseshoe Bay. I don’t think you can take what is a backpackers for 365 days per year and make it for families.” Adding, “I think the Base is more of a day event. Ours is from 3pm to 6pm.

Nadia Jones provided a run down on the Base Sealink party’s party and it looks like a pretty full day both early and late: Family Fun from 10am – 3pm including: sand castle competitions, slip ‘n’ slide, face painting, swimming & a special appearance from Lucky T Turtle and a Zinc 100.7 for a live outside broadcast from 10am till 2pm. Then from 1pm till late, live music kicks off, the deck bar is open and food including BBQ and burgers is available as well as prize draws.

From the Horseshoe Party’s perspective, Guy Tickle reflected, “I don’t want to be seen as against Base or Sealink. We just wanted to have an event here anyway and hopefully next year we can build to a big event with Sealink for the day.”

Story & photo: George Hirst

To add your comment,
or read those of others, see below

A tale of two parties
Chris C
August 25th 2011
Call those parties?

Come to the GREAT Tropical Jazz Party this weekend if you want to see (and hear) how to really have a good time :-)
August 25th 2011
What to wear, what to wear!
Lindsay Simpson
August 25th 2011
Hi George,
Can see why you found this one difficult to unravel.
The idea for a Horseshoe Bay street party came out of a TOBMI committee meeting (attended by previous GM of Sunferries) where it was decided TOBMI, as an incorporate assn, would apply for separate funding to host an event that meant focusing on another bay, other than Nelly Bay for Race Week. However, in spite of repeated phone calls to what was then Sunferries, from TOBMI, asking about letters of support for the funding, TOBMI remained in the dark.
Much to our surprise, the event was announced. When contacted by TOBMI re-iterating support to help galvanise the community (several eateries at Horseshoe are our members), TOBMI was told Sunferries would doing this alone. As Lorna states above, this lack of communication led to confused messages. Unity is the way to make this event happen and thanks to Guy Tickle's efforts for putting something on Sunday September 4.
On a brighter note, new GM of Sealink is attending our next TOBMI meeting to better plan for next year.
Chris C
August 26th 2011
Ah! Is there anything more amusing (or is that sad) than a committee organising a party?

And isn't it interesting that of the two longest serving events on the Island (apart from Anzac Day), Vern's Toad Races involves no committee and the (15th) Great Tropical Jazz Party involves a committee of just three !!!

So come to the Great Tropical Jazz Party today or tomorrow if you want to see what a non-committee can achieve!!

And perhaps TOMBI and the Island's other interminable committees might want to come along and count how many visitors come to the island specifically for the weekend GTJP and then compare that to how many come to the island and overnight next weekend specifically to attend either of the dueling parties!!

I reckon I know which weekend island businesses are going to make the most money from but I wonder if they do?

What do you think? Send us your comments.

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