NightJar Markets

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NightJar Markets

The NightJar Market in Torquay, and most recently in Geelong, is probably one of the biggest success stories around the region. Since starting in 2010, the market now draws in excess of 10,000 punters a night and is an experience not to be missed. Talking about this year’s programming, I recently got the opportunity to sit down with Lyndelle Flintoft, one of the organisers, to find out about how it has developed into one of the biggest attractions on both the Surf Coast and Geelong summer calendar.
Having a chat to Lyndelle on quite possibly the wettest ‘summer’ day of the year, she speaks with enthusiasm as we chat about the 2015 program. “In the moment as we begin to chat, I am standing in a supermarket shopping centre and the rain is teeming down. The weather is going to clear up and so I think that this Thursday’s event (the 15th) should go off without a hitch. It’s predicted for 22 degrees and fine. Despite the crappy weather today though, this year’s program has been the best ever, I think.
“We are developing the market every year and getting around 10,000 people through the gates every week and that is because we offer an experience that nobody else can anywhere in Australia. It’s both unique and a little bit quirky at the same time.”
With a background of running markets such as the Queen Victoria and various projects around Australia, Flintoft’s experience, combined with the work of Kyla Vinton, the other organiser, the NightJar was always born for big success. “I was a jeweller and have worked around Australia at markets for the last thirteen years. Kyla runs the Cowrie Market in Torquay and I was one of her stallholders and I pitched this idea to her and since then we have never really looked back.”
From the sounds of how Flintoft was speaking, it seemed that the festival has gone through a natural progression to where it is today with attracting large crowds; however, it has been quite the opposite, as Lyndelle relates. “It’s come together and I think that most of the time we have been learning on the job. I had been doing designer markets all over Australia and do a lot of music festivals as well. My idea was to create a big festival combining everything that I had done before. I think that’s what has made this so successful.
“The music element is definitely one of the drawcards. We had a little girl and her father tell us that going into the festival was like stepping into another world. That is what we are trying to create whilst still adhering to our community and family environment mindsets.”
In addition, the other reason to the NightJar’s success is that the organisers are so committed to the cause. From knowing each of the stallholders individually to helping pack up the site sometimes ’til 3 a.m., the emotional involvement is another aspect as to why it works.
“With a team of 15 guys starting at 7 a.m. and then 25 staff members on-site for the duration of the festival, and the setup crew and Kyla and I packing up ’til 3 a.m., it’s a lot of work, but definitely worth every minute and it’s like we have never been there.”
Taking on one of the biggest local issues around the Surf Coast, the NightJar in its last few weeks for this season is joining Geelong’s fight against the Ice epidemic. “We felt that we are big enough now to do something positive with such a big issue in our community. We want to educate and make people aware of what is happening in their local community.
“Right now we have the voice and will continue to battle the big issues in years to come.”
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By Tex Miller