Fair’s move Kyneton’s big loss

Chairmaker Glen Rundell. Photo: Damjan Janevski

By Jessica Micallef

Kyneton businesses will lose thousands of dollars in trade when the Lost Trade’s Fair moves to Bendigo.

The two-day event, traditionally held during the Labor Day long weekend at Kyneton Racecourse, will be moved to Bendigo Racecourse from next year.

Founded by husband-and-wife team Glen and Lisa Rundell in 2014, the fair showcases traditional, rare and unusual arts and trades and attracts thousands of visitors to Kyneton.

Ms Rundell said the fair had outgrown Kyneton Racecourse and the move to Bendigo would accommodate more visitors and artisans.

“It allows us to actually accept those artisans that wanted to come this year but couldn’t,” she said.

“We’ve known for the last three or four [years] that we were at capacity.”

Ms Rundell said more than 20,000 people attended last year’s fair but they had to restrict entry to just 18,000 people this year.

“Who knows how many people wanted to come this year, but couldn’t? I had to be the one turning people away and it’s not a great job to do.”

Kyneton business owners fear the fair’s departure will mean pain for them.

Shamrock Hotel Kyneton owner Jack Buckley said he was disappointed a local alternative venue couldn’t be found.

“It’s probably our biggest single weekend of trade without a function.” he said.

“We’ll probably lose … around $15,000 over the three days between drinks and meals.

“It would have been nice if the Macedon Ranges council did something to keep it in the Ranges. We aren’t happy, but what can you do?”

Macedon Ranges chief executive Margot Stork said the council had been working with the fair’s organisers to identity an alternative venue in the Macedon Ranges.

“A venue which satisfied all of the owner’s requirements could not be found,” she said.

Bendigo mayor Margaret O’Rourke said she was confident Bendigo was the “best place” for the fair.

“It means that the fair can grow to its full potential and showcase the very best artisans and craftspeople,” she said.