from Friday 3rd NOV 2023

The Last Hurrah – FAQ’s

Q    Who can we contact for comment?

A    Media enquiries through the Chair, Dave Fuller – 0407 310 481; or via email:

Q    What happens after the event?

A    The Board will assess its financial position, in conjunction with ongoing management of entity and its assets and will follow due process to wind up operations.

Q    Will the 2023 event be as big as in the past?

A    No – the events presented in 2023 are proportionate with the funding available to the Festival. Planned events include a Gala Dinner with a featured band scheduled on Friday 3 November, The National Jazz Awards on Saturday 4 November (with bass being the chosen instrument) and an exciting evening of jazz on Saturday evening held in the Wangaratta Performing Arts and Convention Centre. On Sunday, following the popular Jazz Mass in the beautiful Holy Trinity Cathedral. An outdoor space is tentatively planned for the bluesy elements, subject to positive weather conditions.

Q    How is the Festival interacting with ‘pub partners’ and other interested parties?

A    The Board will assist in advertising and promoting events held at local ‘pub partners’ or such, however is not in a position to provide financial or administrative support. Equally other Arts and Regional events are invited to contact us for publicity opportunities.

Q    Did the board consider alternative ways of keeping the Festival going?

A    Yes, the Board investigated many options, including biannual festivals, partnerships and has spoken to key stakeholders. This work has been ongoing since the 2022 Festival. The Board recently has taken a unanimous and fiscally responsible decision to present a final event in 2023 and not seek further funding for the Festival as is required for its ongoing viability.

Q    Were there more avenues for funding to be explored?

A    After many years of terrific support from government bodies such as Creative Victoria & the Australia Council for the Arts, their funding pool is equally reduced – and competitive. Corporate and philanthropic opportunities will be considered this year in an effort to ensure a fitting send off for the Festival.

Q    Will there be opportunities for the community to financially support the 2023 Event?

A    Yes – we are looking for a major co-sponsor of our outdoor space, as well as community and corporate friends packages. Enquiries via

Q    Can someone else take on the entity?

A    Following the 2023 event, operations will require an audit, reporting and due process in 2024, that will include an AGM early in the year. There will be an opportunity at that AGM for interested parties to explore potential ongoing opportunities.

Q    Is this run by council?

A    No – they have not had a role since 2018

Q    Why couldn’t Reid Street be added back in?

A    Based on current estimates the cost to build Reid Street would be approximately $65,000 – $80,000 depending on layout and number of stages. Even with vendor income, a major sponsor of $10,000, and as assumption of 2000 people paying $5 to enter (net $10,000) that creates a deficit of $40,000 – $60,000 unaccounted for.

A volunteer board would be liable for any deficit faced by the entity. They are not covered by any indemnity insurance if they knowingly commit to spending that is not backed by funds.

In addition there is question about the ability to block access to businesses and charge for entry to a space that should be free to those not participating in the event.

Q    Why did they take away the “Free Element”?

A    They didn’t – there has always been a free component:

  • 2015 Faithful Street
  • 2016 King George the 5th Garden hybrid Blues space (slight charge for locals – less than expenditure gathered) Faithful Street small offering.
  • 2017 Ford Street
  • 2018 Merriwa Park
  • 2019 No Festival / 2020 Online iteration
  • 2021 Free viewing of online presentation of National Jazz Awards
  • 2022 Free community staging on Sunday at WPACC