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Fungi Feastival 2023 – Our Grantee Success Story

Fungi Feastival 2023 – Our Grantee Success Story

Inaugural Fungi Feastival in 2023 delivers for Eurobodalla and Bega Valley

Article below courtesy and copyright of Bega District News

The 2023 Fungi Feastival was held over a month last winter.

It was highly successful with the diverse range of more than 30 quality events across Bega Valley and Eurobodalla enjoyed by locals and attracting visitors to the region in the off-peak tourist season.

More than 625 people participated in booked Fungi Feastival events.

That does not include those who participated in non-booked events and the 25 participating private businesses and three community-based organisations.

It is estimated that the total number of participants was between 800 and 1000.

Supported local businesses

Almost 10 percent of visitors came from outside the area and spent up to $29,000 in the region over the month.

That is a 4.8 multiplier on the initial investment.

Many visitors to Fungi Feastival said they intend returning at other times of the year.

Additionally, the Feastival’s extensive media coverage raised the profile of the region.

There were more than 4000 distinct visitors to the website in a three-month period.

Most of the Fungi Feastival events were fully booked and most participating businesses said it met or exceeded their expectations.

Overall, they experienced an increase in business during the Feastival, and within two months almost half had a follow-on increase in business due to the Feastival.

This was reflected by survey respondents.

More than five percent had already purchased books on fungi from participating businesses, a further five to ten percent had purchased materials to grow mushrooms and 12 percent had purchased a meal (in addition to the booked dinners) within two months of the Feastival.

Growing interest, education

More than 20 percent planned to buy more books and materials to grow mushrooms and 50 percent intend purchasing meals from participating venues.

As a result of the Fungi Feastival, people learnt how to grow mushrooms and have now started to grow them at home.

Others learnt about the contribution of fungi to healthy natural environments, gardens and food production.

Some 75 percent of those who had learnt something new, had already applied this knowledge across a wide range of areas from growing or cooking mushrooms to fungi photography.

Others were now managing their garden or property to promote growth of beneficial fungi.

At the mushroom and truffle meals people tried food and restaurants they may not normally eat.

Helping to develop strong communities

People attended events with family or friends, which built on or created common interests and improved relationships.

Others met people with a common interest and established new networks.

The initial grant from Mumbulla Community Foundation was instrumental to the Feastival’s success.

The funding enabled the Feastival to secure a nationally recognised keynote speaker.

The funding from local Chambers of Commerce (Tilba and Narooma) and businesses (Whale Coast Realty in Narooma and Mushgrow Wood Pellets in Eden) were also vital to its success.