Noosa’s signature foodie festival, the Noosa Eat & Drink Festival will look a little different in 2021, evolving from the annual four-day event in May to a series of events throughout the year.
Adapting to the unstable environment created by COVID, Tourism Noosa and the Festival team have redesigned the event with the health and safety of guests, staff, festival partners and importantly visitors as a top priority.
Tourism Noosa CEO Melanie Anderson said the decision not to hold the usual large-scale event which may or may not be able to be run due to COVID restrictions, presented an opportunity to think outside of the box.
“Planning for the annual event in May would normally be well and truly under way at this time of year for our festival team, but there is a very real reality that we may not be able to host our usual large-scale festival which attracts over 10,000 visitors across the four days”.
“With this in mind we have reimagined what the festival could look like and in collaboration with our festival partners and industry, have redesigned the festival into a series of smaller, more frequent events throughout the year, which will ultimately provide our visitors more opportunities to enjoy the Noosa Eat & Drink experience”.
“One of the primary goals of hosting the festival is to bring visitors to our region in a traditionally quiet time and to showcase our incredible restaurants, breweries, distilleries and producers. By hosting several events throughout the year, we will have more opportunities to do this, getting visitors out and about across our region”.
“We believe this is the best option to take the festival forward during these uncertain times, allowing us to program positive COVID-safe events for smaller, more intimate groups” said Ms Anderson.
Festival Manager Lee Huber said “A series of events allows us to think differently about the festival and presents opportunities for different collaborations. We will be working with our existing festival partners, visiting chefs, our restaurants, our food and drinks industry groups and some charities to curate some really exciting experiences”.
“The change has been well received by Noosa’s new Food & Drink Tourism Advisory Group which has recently been formulated, bringing together the region’s various food and beverage groups to support and develop the industry within the Noosa region” said Ms Huber.
Editorial Director, Premium Food & Travel & Editor in Chief, Escape, Kerrie McCallum welcomed the news and said “We are excited at the possibility of a new-look festival and how Noosa is adapting so we can all celebrate but stay safe in these new times. We can’t wait to get back to Noosa”.
Brent Ogilvie from Ogilvie Group (Rickys, Wood Fire Grill, Locale, Aromas Noosa and Maravista Farm) said “It’s great to see the festival evolving like this and being able to continue showcasing Noosa’s wonderful food, produce and drink offerings, especially in these challenging times”.
Slow Food Noosa’s President Carolyn Winkler said “The Festival is an integral part of Noosa’s food scene and the changes to a series of events is an exciting one, potentially allowing more opportunities to showcase the region.”
Details of the first event, scheduled for late 2020 will be announced shortly. To be the first in the know, follow Noosa Eat & Drink at instagram/noosaeatdrink and subscribe to the newsletter at www.noosaeatdrink.com.au