Pasted Graphic 5

West Gippsland Dance Festival 2018
Change of Venue Notification

Dear parents and competitors.

As you may well have heard by now, we had the unfortunate news last Friday that the newly refurbished West Gippsland Arts Centre in Warragul would not be ready in time for our festival this year. We were always conscious of the fact that due to unforeseen circumstances, this may happen, and that we may need to either cancel our festival or look for a new venue for this year. Please understand this is something totally out of our control and that of the Arts Centre, who have now been told by the contractors that handover may be at the end of September.

The good news is that we did have a “plan b” which is Lardner Park, 155 Burnt Store Road, Lardner which is about 10 minutes out of Warragul. We are now working with the staff from the Arts Centre and Lardner Park to be able to bring you the best possible festival we can under the circumstances.

Yesterday some committee members met with West Gippsland Arts Centre staff and Lardner Park staff to look at the venue as it was set up for the West Gippsland Music and Drama Festival. We were extremely happy with what we saw, a fantastic stage which can be made bigger for us, seating for 500 audience members and staff who are bending over backwards to help make our festival a success.

I have listed below what we have planned for our festival and have attached some photos we took yesterday of the Music and Drama Festival’s setup.

The stage performance area will be approximately 10m wide by 9m deep with additional wing space each side of around 1m. Curtains will hang in the wings but there will be no front curtain. We will have good stage lighting but only blackouts probably for this year. The surface on the stage will be yellow tongue board which will be joined, sanded and painted or we are looking at the possibility of Tarkett over the top of the yellow tongue. There is availability for performers to run around the back of the stage to return to the stage on the other side during troupes if need be. We will have our usual, talented techs available as well to iron out any problems.

We will have three portable classrooms available for dressing rooms and the boardroom at the centre. We will be allocating these dressing rooms according to the number of troupes the larger schools have entered, and each dressing room will be shared. There will be ample toilet facilities and the journey to backstage from the dressing rooms is mostly undercover.

Props can be loaded into a nearby pavilion until they are needed on stage. They can be taken backstage on the day they are required but then must be removed as the space backstage stage will be used for possibly the boys dressing room as well as the holding area for competitors. If possible could props be kept to a minimum this year.

There will be a café running for the entire festival with suitable food for our busy parents, competitors and teachers. Hopefully we will be able to take advantage of the outdoor seating and the beautiful view Lardner Park has to offer with some alfresco dining as well.

The foyer will be a busy place with the admissions desk, check in desk, photographer and dance shop all located in this area. Your assistance in keeping this area as free as possible from congestion would be greatly appreciated.

The auditorium will have seating for approximately 500 audience members and is not raked. The adjudicator will be in the audience towards the back of the auditorium which is not how we usually work. Please be respectful of the competitors on stage and of the huge job the adjudicators always have by remaining quiet whilst in the auditorium.

Please understand this change of venue cannot be helped, and our only other option was to cancel our festival which we felt was totally out of the question for a second year. The wonderful staff from the West Gippsland Arts Centre and Lardner Park have been fantastic in supporting us with the enormous task of relocating 2,100 performances to a suitable venue. After our visit yesterday, I feel so reassured that Lardner Park will be a great fit for our festival.

If you have an issue with attending the festival at Lardner Park, could you please give me a call on 0427 300 961 and I would be happy to discuss any of your queries.
We would really appreciate your support with our new venue and would also be grateful if you could be considerate and positive with the decisions we have been forced to make. We all need to pull together now to enable our festival to be the best it can be under the circumstances.

We thank you for your understanding with this challenging situation we have been given.

Yours sincerely,
Shona Jeffrey

Lardner Park Venue

Audience View
Side Stage
Foyer 1
Foyer 2
Google map from Arts Centre to Lardner Park





The West Gippsland Dance Festival has run successfully since its inception in
1991 attracting competitors from around Gippsland and the Metropolitan area.
Since that time we have grown from being a small regional festival to a highly regarded, major amateur dance competition.
Held annually at the West Gippsland Arts Centre, Warragul, the festival is conducted in September over 10 consecutive days for approximately 12 hours per day.
Our age groups range from Under 6 to 17 and over. Our sections cover classical, jazz, character, song and dance, tap, national, neo-classical/contemporary and hip hop. Dancers can compete in solos, duos / trios, improvisations, troupes as well as championship sections.

Due to our location and magnificent venue we receive entries from all over Victoria, but primarily the Melbourne metropolitan area, East, South and West Gippsland. We average 2,500 entries each year from approximately 30 dance schools.

Warragul is situated in West Gippsland, an easy one hour drive from Melbourne. A number of attractive gardens and parks are located in Warragul, with the most scenic being Civic Park featuring a large lake, rotunda, picnic shelters, playground, walking tracks and a waterfall. Overlooking the park are the local government offices and the West Gippsland Arts Centre.
Rotunda crop

Warragul has many options for accommodation including a beautiful caravan park, motels and bed & breakfast accommodation. It also caters well for dining with a range of fast food outlets, many restaurants and cafes.

For further information contact the Festival Secretary,
0418 236 435