THE Wonthaggi Business and Tourism Association (WTBA) has major plans to launch Wonthaggi’s first Laneway Festival in 2017, celebrating Bass Coast’s artistic talents and bringing the community together.
Earmarked for Saturday, April 1, 2017 during the first weekend of the Easter school holidays, the proposed festival will take over Jongebloed Lane and Taberner Lane with market stalls and food vendors, live music and art displays.
Spearheading the planning for the event is WTBA president Dee Connell.
“We want to create vibrant spaces and activities that bring the community together and showcase the best of what Bass Coast has to offer,” Dee said.
“We want to turn Wonthaggi inside out, have some stuff happening at night and celebrate the laneways – do things differently to normal.
“We’re trying to create something new, something different and focus on the artwork of the area. It’s so strong in this area now – there are some really great artists.
“The WBTA is about creating opportunity and vibrancy in the town. We want to invigorate the town a bit more to create more opportunities.
“If we can pull this off, people are going to think ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe that happened in Wonthaggi’.”
A main stage for community groups and local musicians is proposed for the Ritchies IGA car park and will be the centrepiece of the festival.
Organisers are seeking a major sponsor or co-sponsors for the stage and will rely on grant funding and the support of sponsors to get the event up and running.
There are plans for 30 market stalls and 30 food vendors throughout the lanes, planned activities for the kids, an Instagram projection wall and a banner of artwork from local schools.
The association is working to have a new mural completed by local artist Rohan Manhal for the event and a projection project by Drift Media will light up a wall space on Taberners Lane at night.
Initial plans for the concept have been well supported by the Bass Coast Shire Council and the council is working together with organisers to apply for grants.
Dee said the event needs the support of the community and desperately needs sponsorship from local businesses.
“If we can now get the community involved and get some support and funding, there’s a better chance of it happening,” she said.
“We’re calling out for artistic groups, theatrical groups, musical groups and other community groups to be involved.”
For more information or to enquire about sponsoring the event, email Dee at