Entrepreneur Marty Keetels, who launched what has grown to become one of Australia’s biggest beer and music festivals, is calling it quits.
Entrepreneur Marty Keetels, who launched what has grown to become one of Australia’s biggest beer and music festivals, is calling it quits.

For Sale: Beer and music festival

The Brisbane entrepreneur who launched what has grown to become one of Australia's biggest beer and music festivals is calling it quits.

Marty Keetels has just kicked off an expressions of interest campaign to sell his BeerInCider business, as well as the annual Beeries awards to recognise standout craft beer industry players in Queensland.

Keetels, who has overseen the festival from its modest start in 2014, told City Beat yesterday that it was not a decision he had taken lightly.

"My core skill set is starting businesses and setting them up. It seems right now to bring someone else in who can take what we've created and just build on it,'' the former commercial lawyer-turned-marketer told us.

Marty Keetels wants to sell his BeerInCider business and annual Beeries awards.
Marty Keetels wants to sell his BeerInCider business and annual Beeries awards.

It's not hard to see why he's previously knocked back buyout bids and why more than five offers have already landed on his desk in the last few days, well ahead of the February 21 close.

The numbers tell the story.

The first festival saw about 2500 patrons and around 15 brewers rock up to the Albion Park Raceway, generating about $180,000 in turnover.

Last year, two-day festivals in both March and September at the RNA drew a crowd total of about 20,000, more than 60 brewers, plenty of food trucks and a bunch of bands. Revenue reached around $2 million, with the event now also on the calendar in Melbourne.

The Beeries, which Keetels started in 2017, has enjoyed similarly robust growth, with attendance more than tripling to 380 last year.

So what's next for the beer-loving redhead? Keetels is now working as a consultant for Konica Minolta, tasked with growing their sales of "autonomous mobile robots'' made by a Danish company.

Ideally used in warehouses, the robots have been slowly rolled out over the past two years and can be found in a few spots locally, including the RAAF base at Amberley. They sell for anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000.

Turnover amounted to about $1 million in the last financial year but Keetels aims to grow that to $10 million within three years.

LEASING DRAMA

There's more to the story about embattled Retail Food Group downsizing from its former headquarters in Southport to a more modest home on a floor of the Foxtel building at Robina late last year.

RFG announced plans for the change last May but City Beat spies say the move was necessitated by the astonishing failure of the company to renew the lease for its own head office!

The Foxtel building at Robina.
The Foxtel building at Robina.

That stuff-up resulted in RFG getting just two weeks notice to evacuate, a mad scramble to find new space and employees forced to work from home.

An RFG spin doctor wouldn't address the costly bungle yesterday but acknowledged that the company "had negotiated a number of lease extensions with a view to exiting our former national office and taking up a lease of new premises''.

POLITICAL TWIST

Brisbane stadiums supremo Harvey Lister might need to find a new spin doctor for his ASM Global group.

His long-time sidekick, Greg Adermann, hopes to win a seat in the Brisbane City Council at the looming March election.

He'll be the LNP's candidate for the Pullenvale Ward after comfortably besting former federal MP Jane Prentice in a preselection battle last week.

Greg Adermann is the LNP candidate for Pullenvale Ward.
Greg Adermann is the LNP candidate for Pullenvale Ward.

Adermann, a one-time journo in regional Queensland who later worked for Telstra and Foxtel among other firms, has long had a hankering for politics.

A former press secretary for a couple of pollies, he also served as private secretary for Russell Cooper during his time as Opposition leader. In case that wasn't enough, his grandfather spent time as a minister in the Menzies government.

"Politics has always been in my blood,'' he admitted yesterday.



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