Adventure races in the Illawarra touted

"Tough Mudder-style" events could be part of a Wollongong Adventure Week.
"Tough Mudder-style" events could be part of a Wollongong Adventure Week.

Two new events could be staged in the Illawarra, as Wollongong City Council works to replace the Gran Fondo cycling festival that failed to get off the ground.

A report for next week's council meeting has revealed plans to develop a music, arts and design festival called Wollongong's Gone MAD and a sports boot camp, "Tough Mudder-style" affair to be known as Wollongong Adventure Week.

The council's community, cultural and economic development manager Tanya Buchanan said both events, which are in "concept stage", were designed to promote the region's strengths: natural assets and its emerging status as a digital and IT hub.

"We have the second-largest number of IT graduates in Australia, and the largest number in NSW, so [Wollongong Gone MAD] is building on and really promoting that, as well as showcasing our music and arts program," she said.

"And the adventure week would be that team-based, extreme outdoor style of event that would be run outside the city centre in the hinterland."

According to the council report, the arts festival would deliver a multi-day, multi-venue program to attract out-of-town visitors.

It would start small in 2014 and then ramp up to become Wollongong's annual signature "tier 1" event.

According to the council's event strategy, tier 1 events should have an economic impact target of $4 million and boost regional exposure for the city.

The first Adventure Week would be held next year, and Destination Wollongong has said this festival is "shovel ready" pending approval.

According to the report, council staff have been working with the tourism body to secure the events and recommend councillors vote to bypass the usual tender process for staging such festivals.

The events will cost a total of $150,000, which will be funded from Gran Fondo's previous budget allocation.


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