Summersault falls flat

By Ewen McRae

The annual Summersault festival is no more.

Melton council last week pulled the plug on the family event because of dwindling attendances.

Held at Caroline Springs Recreation Reserve each February since 2013, the festival has been billed as a celebration of summer.

But Melton mayor Bob Turner last week said it was time for something new to reinvigorate the area.

“We’ve had some great times at Summersault, and now it’s time for a change,” he said.

“Summersault has been a key feature of council’s events calendar but, after careful consideration, council has decided it’s no longer meeting community expectations.

“Tens of thousands of residents have enjoyed Summersault over the years but lower attendance by families, and community feedback in more recent years, prompted council to reassess the event.”

The festival’s budget in recent years was about $200,000. The 2019 festival featured live bands Kingswood and Saskwatch, as well as food stalls, rides and family entertainment.

The festival made national headlines in 2017 when a gang of about 40 youths tore through the event, assaulting festival-goers and stealing a number of phones and wallets.

The council admitted this played a part in its decision to end the event.

“Community safety is paramount at our events and we work closely with Victoria Police to ensure our events are safe and secure,” Cr Turner said. “We took into account the reduced attendance by local families and anti-social behaviour at the event.

“We continually review our events to ensure they are meeting the needs of our community and fulfilling their objectives.

“Attendees told us they wanted different entertainment and food options, improved market stalls, changes to the ride offerings and even an earlier start time.”

The council said it is planning a new event to fill the space on the calendar for 2020.