Melbourne press is full of publicity about Music Week's location at the iconic Queen Victoria Market this year. Events like this, and the associated publicity, can be good for business. However traders will need to make compromises to accommodate the event and it is fair to say that there are a number of issues.
The event is to take place between 14th and 23rd November across a number of city venues although QVM will be the focus and the premier stage will be located under the sheds at the top end of the market. The official launch took place just two days ago and yet, such is the popularity of the event, some performances have sold out already.
Around 50 or so traders at the top end of J, K, L, and M sheds will be displaced on each trading day of the event and alternative locations will need to be found for them. Following discussion with QVMAC Representatives, management have approved a temporary "showcase" market based on Queen and Therry Streets to accommodate displaced traders. A substantial marquee will be constructed and special arrangements made to close those streets for the duration of the event. Traders will be give a number of options as to their location including a Therry St. marquee, stalls in Queen St., relocation to vacant stalls in other sheds, or taking time off and avoiding the event altogether.
Some "sweeteners" for traders could include the option to set up for an extended period in the new location on Queen and Therry streets (in other words no pack up each day), and an opportunity for extended trading including linking up with the busy night market on November 19th.
At yesterday's meeting with traders, management made it clear this was a work in progress and the next stage is to find out trader's wishes in relation to relocation. Forms were handed out at the meeting and traders are urged to return them to the office by Tuesday 16th September. Additional forms can be downloaded here (Download Stallholder Preference Form) or obtained from the market office. (See a separate article showing a map of the affected stalls) Traders raised a number of concerns and ideas about the event and these were all noted for attention over coming days.
An event like Music Week is complex. It creates many issues for traders and management as well as many opportunities. Getting this right will be important as we head into renewal and try various ways to raise our profile with customers.