Green light for festival’s Bartels Road closure

The state government has formally used its powers to declare the Harvest Rock Festival a major event, overruling an Adelaide City Council decision to vote down the organisers’ request for a November road closure in the East End.

Aug 11, 2022, updated Aug 11, 2022
Bartels Rd will be closed for four days in November for the Harvest Rock festival. Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

Bartels Rd will be closed for four days in November for the Harvest Rock festival. Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

The declaration under the Major Events Act 2013, to be published in the Government Gazette today, will allow Harvest Rock Festival to go ahead in Rymill Park/Murlawirrapurka and King Rodney Park/Ityamai-itpina from 19 to 20 November.

The event, which is touting an economic uplift of $10m with 20,000 patrons, will require the closure of Bartels Road between East Terrace and Dequetteville Terrace from November 18 to 21.

The Adelaide City Council voted 8-2 against the four-day road closure at a council meeting on August 2, with councillors citing concern about the impact of cumulative road closures on retail trade in the lead up to Christmas.

The portion of Bartels Road set for closure. Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor says the arterial road takes more than 21,000 cars a day.

The decision prompted fierce criticism from the state government, with Premier Peter Malinauskas immediately vowing to overturn the decision and  Treasurer Stephen Mullighan accusing the council of having “goldfish-like memories”.

Today, Tourism Minister Zoe Bettison formally announced the decision to declare the Harvest Rock Festival a major event, saying it was “important to send a clear message” to event organisers.

“This decision to declare Harvest Rock a major event is necessary to ensure we are doing everything we can to support our State and our city’s recovery as we emerge from the pandemic,” she said in a statement.

“It is also important to send a clear message to major event organisers from around the world that as a government we are determined to do everything possible to support and promote event activities to our State.

“We are committed to the people of South Australia and our job as government is to ensure businesses thrive and get back on their feet.

InDaily in your inbox. The best local news every workday at lunch time.
By signing up, you agree to our User Agreement andPrivacy Policy & Cookie Statement. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

“We will not turn our back on small businesses in the CBD, particularly in hospitality who have endured three difficult years and made massive sacrifices during the pandemic.”

Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor said allowing the closure to go ahead would see East End traders impacted on three of the five weekends before Christmas due to the Adelaide 500 road closures immediately after.

“The [council’s] decision really was about the cumulative impact of the closures,” she told Fiveaa on Wednesday.

“It wasn’t about the festival at all, it was actually about cutting the access off to the city.

“When Harvest festival was first approved … we weren’t sure of dates … it landed the week before the [Adelaide] 500

“Which means for our city traders – and they are really depending on that Christmas trade – those arterial roads are closed off for the three busiest weekends.

“The impact of that is we’re talking millions and millions and millions of trade dollars that comes from the eastern side of the city.”

Local News Matters
Copyright © 2024 InDaily.
All rights reserved.