A one night stand to remember

Article image - A one night stand  to remember Painting the town orange at St Helenís One Night Stand, big profits flowed to local community groups.

More than 30,000 people flocked to the coastal hamlet of St Helens on Tasmania’s east coast, for Triple J’s annual One Night Stand.

Break O’Day Council planed, organised and resourced the biggest One Night Stand in its 15 year history and the biggest event the small, regional council had ever taken on.

Community Services Project Officer, Erica Smith, with a core team of 4-6 ignited the community.

Local youth champions worked with Council staff to produce a series of videos for the St Helens One Night Stand Facebook page.

Local businesses got into the spirit with the Paint the Town Orange competition, decorating shop windows and donning costumes to welcome visitors and create a festival atmosphere in the town. 

The population of St Helens, usually around 2070, increased tenfold during the event stimulating economic activity for businesses, however, the real winners were not-for-profit community groups. 

As a non-commercial event, only community groups were allowed to sell food onsite. 

Seventeen community groups formed a co-operative, dubbed One Night Mayhem, which put together a collection of stalls offering a range of dishes all inspired by local produce. 

All proceeds were then split evenly amongst the groups.

Community groups also pocketed the proceeds from managing car parking. 

Whitelion not-for-profit youth support organisation received the gold coin donations earning them $25,000 to be used on youth services in the region.

Beyond the financial remuneration the longest lasting benefit however was the community spirit and sense of pride that the event engendered. 

Many business owners and residents who have lived in the area for generations commented that they have never seen the community so engaged and united in a common purpose.

While the event was all over in a matter of hours, the lasting effects on the entire community will remain for years to come.