Meanwhile in Canberra... Cars and Strippers at "family friendly" Summernats

Stephanie Anderson writes. This article originally appeared in The Canberra Times.  Photo by Graham Tidy.


Lots of boys, burnt rubber and alcohol are what Summernats debutante Crystal is expecting when she walks through the gates of Exhibition Park this weekend.

The Canberran, a towering blonde in white heels and denim cut-offs, is an entertainer at the Capital Men's Club, which expects a big boost in business during the four-day festival.

"It's going to be incredible," she said. "Thousands fly from interstate to come down to Canberra. It's the best time of the year.''

Crystal is one of a handful of employees who will drum up business for the Fyshwick strip club at the event, an action that flies in the face of organisers' increasingly family focused attitude.

The 26-year-old festival scrapped its wet T-shirt competition and strip shows in 2010 and 2012, but continues to receive criticism over its Miss Summernats competition. The winner takes part in a photo shoot with men's magazine ZOO Weekly.

Moves to limit the number of scantily clad women on the festival site have not curbed business recorded in outlets such as the Capital club, its owner, Fulvio Gobeo, says.

Mr Gobeo said business was expected to double in coming days as its patrons will be carted to and from the club between 6pm and 6am in a special pink party bus.

"Last year the crowd we had was excellent - no incidents, no trouble, no disruptions," he said. "Our girls are beautiful people and classy and people behave according to what they find."

While the women will be handing out flyers, there will be no entertainment provided at the festival site, according to Summernats co-owner Andy Lopez.
"Inside the gates, we run the program we want to run," he said. "If people want to go and do that sort of thing, that's their call."

Mr Lopez said events such as the wet T-shirt competition and the strip shows had been cancelled in favour of other attractions.

"We made the decision that adult entertainment should be things like concerts," he said. "That's what we see as add-on value."

Up to 90,000 people are expected to head through the gates during the festival, which will feature a record-attempt mass burnout.
with Lisa Cox
profile of SydneyMorningHerald