Schoolies shrink: Why it's time to downsize iconic event

CHANGES are afoot for the Schoolies Festival amid sustained pressure from Surfers Paradise traders to downsize the annual event.

In 2019 Queensland school leavers will be of legal drinking age following the introduction of the Prep year in 2007 and the raising of the school starting age by six months in 2008.

Schoolies flock to Surfers Paradise to celebrate the end of high school every year. Picture: Jake Nowakowski
Schoolies flock to Surfers Paradise to celebrate the end of high school every year. Picture: Jake Nowakowski

The Surfers Paradise Alliance argues that as schoolies will be able to party in bars and clubs there will be less need for the extensive public infrastructure that closes off parts of Surfers Paradise beach.

Alliance boss Mike Winlaw said traders understood the Schoolies "hub" was primarily for safety purposes but it took up too much room and many graduates were exhausted by the marathon seven-day party.

"It's time for a rethink of the seven days, maybe we could do four or five," Mr Winlaw said.


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