Hervey Bay Seafood Festival

Design Feature
Type of Project
Festival, Local Government Initiative
State
Queensland
Location
Regional

Held on the second Sunday of August, the annual Hervey Bay Seafood Festival captures the Bay’s favourable winter weather and the best of the local wild catch seafood in a community and healthy food oriented day. Established in 1998, the event is hosted by The Hervey Bay Seafood Festival Association; a not-for-profit incorporated Association of local commercial fishers, and their members from the greater Hervey Bay region. The successful event attracts 10,000 visitors a year, who gather in the birthplace of the area’s fishing industry, Fishermens Park, to celebrate the local catch with generations of local professional fishermen.

The festival has become an anchor event for the 12 day Hervey Bay Ocean Festival that showcases the rich marine environment and aquatic lifestyle of the region. After winning three Australia Day Community Event of the Year awards, in 2011, the festival was awarded the Best Seafood Promotion in Queensland and went on to represent the state at the national level.

Celebrating local food

The Hervey Bay Seafood Festival was created by local fishermen to raise the profile of the area’s commercial fishing industry, to showcase the region’s seafood, and to grow the opportunities for seafood as an attraction and greater contributor to the lifestyle of Hervey Bay. 

The vision is to be positioned as the best seafood festival in Australia through staging festivals that showcase the fresh local wild catch seafood industry and promoting the health benefits associated with eating natural seafoods in the relaxed surrounds of Hervey Bay. The festival subsequently increases awareness of the importance of fresh food as part of a healthy diet, and at a regional scale, encourages the distribution and consumption of locally-produced food. 

To reach the current standard of patron satisfaction and ability to fund the event, the Association has built on its sense of place, both culturally and economically, within the regional landscape with innovative and adaptive event planning. Furthermore, the Hervey Bay Seafood Festival Association adopt several strategies each year to ensure the festival runs smoothly and effectively promotes a healthy food environment.

Hervey Bay Seafood Festival supports local industries and improves access to fresh and healthy food
Hervey Bay Seafood Festival supports local industries and improves access to fresh and healthy food

Strategies include:

  • Developing a business and marketing plan to provide strategic direction for the festival.  
  • Providing stallholders and stakeholders with a comprehensive event manual, media and stallholder kits for timely and relevant information.
Hervey Bay Seafood Festival enhances community connections.
Hervey Bay Seafood Festival enhances community connections.
  • Ensuring compliance and risk management processes are followed (for example - obtaining permits and safety management).
  • Ongoing evaluation and improvements - the lucky gate prize entry form includes email and postcode requirements to enable surveys to be distributed and postcode data collated to confirm the marketing reach.

Project Team

  • The Hervey Bay Seafood Festival Association
  • Tourism & Events Queensland (TEQ)
  • Fraser Coast Regional Council
  • Fraser Coast Tourism & Events
  • Sirromet Winery
  • Urangan State High School
  • Haighs Jewellers
  • Additional support from the local business community, and community groups

Project Cost 

Annual budget of $140,000 to stage the event, funded through both cash and in-kind support.

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