Splash Adelaide Winter Applications closing soon

Words by Paul Maland
Photo by Dave Court

Splash Adelaide is an incentive by the Adelaide City Council to give creatives and business owners a chance to showcase their work in exciting new spaces across the Adelaide CBD over winter. 

Thinking outside the box is encouraged, and making use of unconventional spaces is the norm, whether that be a rooftop, an alleyway, parklands, or anywhere in between. 

More than 220,000 people make their way around the Adelaide CBD each day, and Splash Adelaide is about helping out businesses, entrepreneurs, community groups and individuals with bright ideas to keep the city buzzing through the cooler months.

Types of assistance offered by Splash Adelaide include waiving certain operational expenses associated with running an event or project, promotional support, project facilitation and mentorship.

No stranger to emerging business in Adelaide, Lord Mayor Martin Haese began his own retail venture in the Adelaide CBD when he was 27 years old. The company went on to become a successful national enterprise worth $25 million. 

"When I started in 1993, there were no programs like this. The whole ecosystem that was supporting entrepreneurs, and start-ups and creatives, was not that sophisticated.

"The whole idea is to help someone with a really good idea to take a little bit of risk out of it in its early stages, so it can begin to find its feet," the Lord Mayor says. 

"Effectively what Splash does is help people try new ideas. Not necessarily always in a shopfront, which it could be, but it can be an event-based type of activity that can have a commercial outcome. 

"It's there to give people some seed capital, sometimes waiving fees which typically businesses would occur when doing an event, to give them a go," he says. 

Since the 2012/13 financial year, 500 events and projects have been supported under the Splash Adelaide program. 

"The Ebenezer night markets is a classically good example. They started six years ago, and for the first two years that ran under the Splash Adelaide program.

"What I like about Splash is it also makes us think about public spaces differently. In the absence of a program like Splash, would of anything been done with Ebenezer Place? Maybe not," the Lord Mayor says. 

"It just gets us thinking very differently about public spaces. We want people to come up with the creative ideas — I think one of the greatest transformations in Adelaide in the last few years is how we think about our public space differently," the Lord Mayor says, citing the emergent success of lane-ways such as Peel Street, Leight Street and Bank Street. 

"The ability to reinvent and get the timing of your reinvention right is really important. Whether you are an artist, a trader, a social entrepreneur... any form of entrepreneur."

Sam Neeft, owner of Treadly Bike Shop in Ebenezer Place, experienced first-hand the benefits of partnering with Splash Adelaide to launch his successful event Maker – a street festival celebrating the passion, artistry and craftsmanship behind Australian cycling products.

Maker was a huge success this year with invaluable support from the Splash Adelaide team. Their hands on approach reassured us that we were ticking all of the right boxes in the lead up to the event, while the positive exposure we received through Splash’s promotional channels really helped to build excitement around the event and draw a crowd to Ebenezer on the day.

“Small traders across the city should be utilising the unique opportunity to partner with Splash and help build a stronger community and brand for their business,” Sam says.

Submit your application at splashadelaide.com.au by close of business March 10. Successful applicants will need to implement their ideas between 1 May and 30 September this year.