GREG EVANGELOU - ASIAFEST VISIONARY
Twenty-eight year old entrepreneur and owner of Budget Party Hire and White Marquee, Greg Evangelou, is the man we should all be thanking this October. Greg is the passionate man behind the ten-day festival we have all been waiting for, ASIAFEST. The Adelaide Set was lucky enough to meet with Greg, and talk about his ‘crazy’ ideas and how he makes his dreams a reality. ASIAFEST will be running from October 2-11 in Adelaide’s beautiful Rymill Park. “Our First Class package this year is absolutely amazing, basically for $125 you get a 10 day pass, 6 dishes of food, 6 drinks (alcoholic), a $30 event voucher that can be used towards a full moon party ticket, a festival glass and a return Uber ride to and from the festival. So that’s around $270 worth for only $125. So people looking for a full moon party ticket, it pays to get the First Class Ticket to ASIAFEST!”
Tell us a little bit about yourself…
I’m very very passionate about what I do. I started Budget Party Hire nine years ago and three years ago I came up with the idea of ASIAFEST. It was a dream that I had in my head, my dream festival. What would it be? It would be this big Asian festival with some of Adelaide’s best restaurants and it would have pathways in and out of different Asian countries. It was just this dream in my head that became a reality. A lot of people come up with crazy business ideas and it’s not easy to get them off the ground, but I’m lucky that I have Budget Party hire and I do build festivals for quite a few people in Adelaide, so having infrastructure and the resources that I have made it easy for me to be able to create ASIAFEST.
Did the idea of ASIAFEST come from personal experiences travelling through Asia?
I do enjoy travelling through Asia, I’m very passionate about their culture and I love dining out at Asian restaurants.
Has it been difficult trying to push past the negative stigma of Thailand’s Full Moon Party?
We are trying to bring all the fun and cultural elements of the full moon party, but certainly don’t want it to be the full moon party that people experience dangerously in Thailand. We want to give South Australians the opportunity to experience a full moon party and all of its fun aspects in our backyard, safely. It’ll definitely be fun, but it won’t have the bucket loads of alcohol. It’ll have buckets, but they’ll be standard servings. We are pushing the boundaries as much as we can and sticking to our rules and regulations!
Obviously ASIAFEST has a lot to offer, so is there any particular part you can’t wait to show everyone?
Uncle Wang is really looking forward to meeting everyone at ASIAFEST! Definitely go see Uncle Wang’s Asian Grocery & Bar, that’ll be the place to be for those ten nights if you want to head out for a drink. Uncle Wang loves to party. The ASIAFEST Comedy Wingding is also something that’s quite exciting, we are bringing together some really good Asian comedians, and its basically going to be like a comedy gala… they get up and do ten to fifteen minutes each and that’ll be on every night from 8pm. There’s also a karaoke container, so that will be cool! We have a fine dining pop up Vietnamese restaurant and Cocoloco cocktail bar…that’s going to be another cool bar area going later into the night with DJs playing every night. There’s a huge program this year!
Were you expecting ASIAFEST to be so successful?
Before it came a reality, it was this amazing festival in my head. It was just my dream festival, so to me it was amazing and no matter what, it was going to be successful. But that doesn’t mean that everyone else is going to come and enjoy it just because it’s my dream festival. But you know, praying for twenty thousand people to come over three days last year and getting that twenty thousand people in the first two days was overwhelming. Although, there were a few teething issues being a first year festival, overall I think it was an amazing effort on behalf of the whole ASIAFEST team to put on what we did… and expanding over ten days this year is a huge step, but we are confident that we will pull it off.
Do you have any exciting ideas for next year?
I have been too busy thinking about ASIAFEST 2015! It really depends on the O-Bahn extension, as we will be forced to relocate… so I’m praying to God that they decide to not do it. There are quite a few people who are against the O-Bahn extension; every event in Rymill Park will be forced to relocate! So that means we haven’t got the picturesque lake and we won’t have floating markets again or the amazing Vietnam Island on the lake. We just won’t have the beautiful surroundings of Rymill Park and how well it fits with our concept of walking in and out of the five Asian countries. So yeah… that’s really going to depend on what happens next year. There’s even a possibility that we won’t risk doing ASIAFEST again next year, as we don’t want to damage the brand by attempting to put it another park where we know its not going to work, so there’s a possibility that it could have a year break. So enjoy it now!
Favourite Adelaide café/restaurant
Gondola Gondola! There’s just something about that place that I really like and the owners are lovely people. I love going there and they make this amazing cocktail every time I go.
Favourite Adelaide sporting team
Port Adelaide Football Club
Favourite chill place
Anywhere in Asia!
Favourite Adelaide beach
If you were the Mayor of Adelaide for a day, what positive
impact would you have on the city?
I would do something that helps businesses employ more people, because
our unemployment rate is increasing more and more by the day. In my eyes
as an employer, the government doesn’t help us enough to be able to employ
more people to create more opportunities, so I would be looking at ways to
reduce the unemployment rate by helping businesses employ people.
For more, see what ASIAFEST has to offer at http://www.asiafest.com.au