The Glasshouse Port Macquarie, Half Empty or Half Full?

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Please help us to convince the council to include us in their upcoming strategic plan with a special hire charge for the Eisteddfod during the September / October School holidays & in the process bring back over 500 soloists & their families to the centre of Port Macquarie's shopping district.


In 2010 The Dance Eisteddfod paid a discounted hire charge of approximately $20.000 for the full 17 days of Groups & Solos in the Glasshouse This year we paid a discounted price of approximately $30.000 in hire for the 4 days of our group's portion of the Dance Eisteddfod. In comparison, Dubbo Eisteddfod pays a special agreed price of $16,400.00 in hire fees for the entire 21 days of their event. Taree one of our nearest Eisteddfods receives enough council support to run their whole Eisteddfod in the Manning Theatre. All prices quoted are approximate and do not include staffing equipment hire etc.

Whilst we are very grateful for the generous discount offered by Hastings council towards the hire of The Glasshouse, the venue hire fees are so inflated that it is unfortunately still uneconomical for us to utilise the building for the two and a half weeks we require to run the whole Eisteddfod. Dubbo Regional Theatre Convention Centre is a regional theatre of similar calibre to our Glasshouse yet has commercial hire fees of less than half that of our Glasshouse. The extreme difference in venue hire seems exorbitant and makes it impossible for the Eisteddfod to be able to use the Glasshouse Theatre for the solo sections of our Port Macquarie and District Dance Eisteddfod even with a generous discount.

Since our beginning over 30 years ago, the Eisteddfod has run in the September / October School holidays and bought significant economic benefits to the CBD in the form of shopping, food and accommodation for our young competitors and their families. However since 2011 our solo program has been priced out of the centre of town by councils hire fees and forced into a school hall stopping the flow of people and money into the centre of town with locals going home between sessions and visitors heading back out to the highway without visiting our town at all, meanwhile the Glasshouse theatre has been empty for majority of the September/ October school holidays since 2011.

In 2017, for example, the Glasshouse theatre was hired for only 3 days during this 2 week period and this year the theatre was only occupied for 2 days during the September October school holiday period. Should the venue hire fee become affordable the dance Eisteddfod could have the beautiful Glasshouse theatre buzzing from 8:30 am to 10:30 pm for the entire holiday period. We understand that there may be an opportunity for the Glasshouse theatre to be hired out for performances by commercial hirers during this period and we are proposing to be able to work around this by utilizing the Ross Family Studio for smaller parts of our program leaving the theatre available for use by the commercial hirers when necessary.  

Each year the Dance Eisteddfod supports many local businesses through design services, catering, printing, stationery, trophies, ribbons and equipment hire to name a few. We are asking for your help to support the youth of our area. Kids in rural/regional areas like ours are often at a disadvantage & must travel to experience the best facilities for their chosen passion yet the one thing that could give our kids an advantage is sitting empty year after year in their own backyard.

Remember, with a loud voice we can bring about change please sign & share our petition.

Yours sincerely 

Wendy Stewart

Vice President Port Macquarie & District Eisteddfod Society / Dance Director 2018