Royal Croquet Club 'regroups' for Adelaide Fringe after a difficult year

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December 07, 2017 16:41:11

The popular Royal Croquet Club (RCC) venue will return to Adelaide’s Riverbank in 2018 despite its founders suffering severe financial losses from other ventures in the past year.

It lost more than $1 million staging a pavilion at a Chinese beer festival — an event initiated by the Adelaide City Council.

RCC’s parent company, The Social Creative, was later placed into voluntary administration.

It highlighted the difficulties new businesses have when trying to expand and diversify and left a cloud hanging over the event’s future.

RCC co-founder Stuart Duckworth was working in Edinburgh when he heard the news that his Chinese venture was in big trouble.

“I was only made fully aware of the situation just before it came to light in the media,” he said.

“Personally it’s been a massive challenge for me to come to terms with it and move forward.”

But the founders held their head high and regrouped to ensure the RCC in Adelaide would open the doors for its fifth consecutive year.

“[The Chinese event] was a great project in principle but it just didn’t pan out the way everyone hoped it would and as such, we suffered severe losses,” Mr Duckworth said.

“We had to regroup and restructure this year to make sure that we could keep going with what is the most important aspect of what we do, which is the RCC Adelaide event.”

Keeping a new business up and running is a huge feat, let alone trying to expand it.

Mr Duckworth said they had learnt many lessons from the losses in China, as well as from events in Adelaide Elder Park and Sydney that did not go to plan.

“It’s a massive learning curve but this certainly won’t stop me in my tracks,” he said.

“I started this race because I care about the arts. I care about events and we’re good at putting together activations.

“When you’re faced with a hardship you’ve got a choice: you can run away from it or you can stand and face it and learn from it.”

Since its beginnings, the RCC has been a financial success in Adelaide and Mr Duckworth was confident that would continue.

“We’ve been very humbled by the fact that we’ve got such an amazing group of both local and international artists who have been part of our group or know of our organisation who have come forward and really want to part of next year’s event,” he said.

“Same goes for the South Australian businesses who we continue to work with who have been involved with us for a long time.

“Keeping these activations and other things like it happening in Adelaide is all I care about doing.”

The RCC will again be held at Pinky Flat on the north side of the Torrens Lade as part of Mad March festivities, with organisers promising a jam-packed program of entertainment and performances.

It is expected to employ about 240 South Australians while it is up and running.

Topics:

local-government,

urban-development-and-planning,

carnivals-and-festivals,

arts-and-entertainment,

adelaide-5000,

sa



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