BOATFEST has the ability to deliver social and cultural benefits to the region by the inclusion of the arts community through exhibitions and sales, performance opportunities, audience development for younger artists, engagement with heritage and museum partners and providing a unique opportunity for ratepayers and visitors to attend a largely free community event over a weekend in October.

Environmentally, BOATFEST provides the perfect backdrop for discussion and awareness around the Port River, the resident dolphin pod, tourism and development in a non threatening and engaging atmosphere. BOATFEST and ancillary events provide the perfect medium for an ongoing income stream to the Port Adelaide Sailing Club (including the ability to continue funding specialist programs like the Sailability program for sailing with a disability) and to provide economic benefit to local suppliers, food vendors, artists, performers, community groups, shops, cafes, accommodation houses and the like.

The ripple effect on this project has the potential to be substantial. Not the least of which is the involvement of the wooden boats key display area being the New Port Quays marina development which will bring potential investors right to their front doorstep. This provides visitors with the opportunity to experience the Port Adelaide area with fresh eyes, spend time with family and friends and create positive impressions about future events, lifestyle and investment. 

Meanwhile the local community has another community based event on their activity calendar that provides an outlet for volunteering, engagement and to raise funds for their individual groups. It enables a ‘sense of pride’ in the precinct generated and reinforced by the rich heritage and history. Positive visitor experiences will also add to the ‘sense of wellbeing’ that the community is living somewhere ‘hip and happening’ on the Adelaide scene. These elements lead to increased positivity and perception of the area overall. 

BOATFEST is structured to take place on the odd years when the Goolwa Wooden Boat Festival does not take place. This ensures that the overall wooden boat market is not diminished by having the two events in South Australia and that both will remain economically viable. The BOATFEST Committee is discussing challenges and successes with the Goolwa event to ensure that they learn from experience for their own event, and work together to encourage the use and preservation of historic vessels. 

The diversity of the BOATFEST event design is what will really see it flourish in the community and will determine its ultimate success – community pride and recognition is imperative!