ATTRACTION: People filled Patrick St in Laidley for the 2017 Chrome and Clutter Retro Festival.
ATTRACTION: People filled Patrick St in Laidley for the 2017 Chrome and Clutter Retro Festival. Lachlan McIvor

Chrome and Clutter called off for 2018

THE Chrome and Clutter Retro Festival will not go ahead in 2018, with a lack of support from sponsors and volunteers credited for the event being called off this year.

Event organiser Denise Morris, who is also the owner and manager of Eagle Rock Cafe in Laidley's main street, said it was a disappointing decision but without crucial backing it was one she had no choice but to make.

"I put a call out to everyone that had done it last year asking them if they'd like to volunteer again this year and I got virtually next to no response,” Mrs Morris said.

"The replies are so slow coming back from sponsors. The year before this one, I had all my sponsors in place by December. I only had three major sponsors reply to me for this year of the eight I would need to just to pay the $5000 to close the street off.

"Health issues and other things have just made it harder for me to find all that time to organise it ... and now with all the application forms that we have to do for the government and the council, which we haven't had to do in the past, that's a lot of work.”

Patrick St was packed with people, and their business, for the festival in 2017 and Mrs Morris said it would be a blow for the town not to have that burst of trade this year.

"I did my whole week's turnover in two days. It's big money that it brings into town,” she said.

But preparations are already under way for a bigger and better Chrome and Clutter festival in 2019, with plans to turn it into a full two-day event with plenty of changes in mind.

"Last year we trialled it and we did a day and a half,” she said.

"So what we want to do for next year is turn the Sunday into very much an Armistice Day thing.

"With the bunting, the windows all crossed out, military vehicles parked up and down the street but without closing the street off for the second day and just taking it over picnic-style towards the park.”

She encouraged anybody who was interested in lending a hand next year to get in early and contribute to an event that benefits the whole of Laidley.

"If anyone is interested in giving me their name if they've got any talents at all, if they can manage streets or they want to put street stalls up for next year and manage themselves, they need to get in touch with me so I can put them on my list for next year so that makes it a whole lot easier,” she said.

Although she regrets that a weekend of retro fun, live music, entertainment, vintage cars and swap meets won't light up the town this year, she was excited for what the 2019 edition will hold.

"I wanted to give a big thank you to all of those that did help us last year,” she said.

"It's regretful but without volunteers we just can't move forward.

"With or without volunteers I'll be doing it next year, even if I have to invite all of my family members from Brisbane to help out.”

Phone the Eagle Rock Cafe on 5465 1099 for more information on how you can get involved.


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