Radio announcer blasts festival and festival blasts back
ORGANISERS of this year's Ballina Fine Wine and Food Festival have hit back at 2LM presenter Neil Marks after he lashed the event on-air.
On Monday, Mr Marks criticised the festival on air for refusing to allow he and his wife to enter the festival with their young child.
Donella Kinnish of the Rotary Club of Ballina-on-Richmond, which runs the festival, has responded to the comments in a letter to The Northern Star, saying the festival, of which the Star was a sponsor, had always been clear it was for adults only.
"As you might imagine such an event with some 60 exhibitors takes a lot of work including the advertising and promotions," Ms Kinnish said.
"All advertising has clearly noted, in both print and audio media that the event was only for 18 years and over due to the presence of alcohol.
Should Neil Marks have been allowed to bring his child into the Ballina Fine Wine and Food Festival
This poll ended on 22 July 2015.
No - the advertising said adults only, he should have known not to
Yes - it's up to parents to decide what's good for their kids
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
"Members of the Rotary Club put in hundreds of man hours over some nine months to prepare for the event.
"Unfortunately on Monday, July 13, 2LM presenter Neil Marks felt the need to criticise the event because he was turned away as he tried to enter with his child. Tickets, bus tickets, newspaper advertising, radio ads, TV all cited 'This is an 18+ event'.
"Volunteers give of their time to help their communities. It is very disappointing when any member of the public fails to read or listen to information about an event that results in them not being able to attend.
"However, it is even more disappointing when that member of the public, compounds that initial failure and uses a position of privileged access to the wider community to then criticise a community event that has been enjoyed by many because of his personal failure to check the facts and details before broadcasting his personal criticisms.
"As many people know, Mr Marks is also a councillor of Lismore City who regularly attends community events.
"As such, it is difficult to understand why Mr Marks felt the need to criticise a successful and recognised social event on the district calendar that provides a platform for local producers.
"This year's festival has been rated an outstanding success by both patrons and exhibitors."