Clean sweep brushes off that Summernats fever
CLEAN SWEEP: Brett Fowler was one of about 30 crew involved in ''hitting it hard'' - getting Exhibition Park back to its pre-Summernats state - expected to take most of the week. Photo: Graham Tidy
The rev-heads and car lovers, now all returned to the melancholy of a burnout-free reality, have been replaced by cleaners and removalists, who are busy mounting a "military operation" to return Exhibition Park to its pre-Summernats state.
A group of roughly 30 cleaners are carefully scouring the grounds, removing rubbish, debris, and other traces of the car festival.
All the infrastructure - the generators, grandstands, marquees, hoppers, cabling, fencing, barricades, concrete blocks - will be pulled out of EPIC. By Monday, all evidence of Summernats will be gone, save the tyre marks pounded into the roadways and the burnout track over the three days.
The clean-up operation, according to Summernats co-owner Andy Lopez, is a major undertaking that will take up much of the week.
"They're going to break Exhibition Park down into sectors, hit it hard, try and clean it all up, go away and do another sector and then come back and rotate through one more time," Mr Lopez said.
The festival has again been hailed as a success by organisers, attracting 101,486 visitors and 1767 entrants, a 15 per cent jump on last year's numbers.
Mr Lopez said the first days without Summernats were hard to get through, for organisers and patrons alike.
"It's funny with a festival event like the Summernats. The event is a great party and a big celebration, but it's also a reunion of friends that you don't get to see for a year, and that's on a pretty big scale," he said.
"The Monday and Tuesday after the Summernats is a melancholic and slightly sad time."
Mr Lopez said the heat had been the biggest challenge of this year's event. He said there were 32 incidents of heat stress, but organisers had put in a range of proactive measures to help revellers stay cool.
"We tried to implement some more general shade structures around the place; that was always going to be very difficult," he said.
"That's something we need to look at with Exhibition Park is maybe creating more shaded areas where people can just go and chill out."