Shetland Ponies, Dwarfs Get Ready For Australia's EOFY Parties

As taxation specialists and accountants gear up for a rush of business at the end of the financial year, so too do Australia’s dwarf entertainers and Shetland Pony hire companies.

Picture: Shetland Pony photo / Shutterstock

The nation’s top restaurants and bars are seeing their annual spike in function inquiries from accountants, auditors and finance executives looking to let of steam – often with unusual requests.

The result is a boom time for entertainers, and traders in office gossip. (While researching this story Business Insider was shown a video of secretaries wrestling on an accounting firm’s boardroom floor.)

From more relaxed options like deals on 100 jugs of beer through to extravagant chocolate buffets, finance workers around the country will be treated by bosses in the coming weeks after midnight oil gets burnt getting clients over the regulatory line.

One beneficiary is Dwarf My Party. Founder Blake Johnston said they had many bookings to help financial staff celebrate after the big calendar crunch.

“I’ve dressed in drag and acted like a tart. For bonding we’ve played drinking games,” Johnston said. “We do everything we can to make the experience as fun as possible so they’re rejuvenated when they go back.”

Cross dressing or donning a suit to stir it up, Johnston’s entertainment aims at having fun but keeps guests on their toes.

“When they want to celebrate, we come in and make their night.”

The EOFY parties at Encore in Melbourne’s St Kilda have included Bucking Bulls and Shetland ponies, said Natarlia Webb, the venue’s marketing co-ordinator.

“We’ve seen a Cuban theme, white parties, and the latest was a 4-day conference in Hawaiian dress… They were a bit crazy but a lot of fun.”

Yuksel Yucetepe, General Manager of Collins Quarter in Melbourne where the venue’s clientele is predominantly businesspeople, recalls a particular corporate company organising comedy waiters to play tricks on EOFY party guests and colleagues.

“It’s a super busy period for us, particularly the last 3 weeks of June. I have been here for the last 2 years and from my experience it was extremely busy. We already have 5 functions booked in for then and expect more,” he said.

Picture: The traditional EOFY dance led by the accounting firm’s partners Office dancing photo / Shutterstock

One young accountant from a firm in Sydney said the company’s celebrations for the EOFY were not as big as the annual Christmas party, but were still a well-anticipated event.

“Last year it was at an Italian restaurant, so it will probably be something like that again… all the younger people will probably just go out afterwards.”

At last year’s party, he said, once the junior crowd had a few drinks at a local pub they returned to the office in the CBD and two secretaries employed by the firm ended up wrestling on the floor of the boardroom.

He showed Business Insider a video that appears to show them playfully wrestling each other in a very inebriated state while other staff cheered them on.

There are degrees, of course. One five-star Sydney hotel hosting EOFY functions told Business Insider: “Styles and format vary according to the clientele and can range anything from a theatre performance followed by a sit down dinner to being just a big piss up”.

The popularity of these events has prompted venues such as Melbourne’s Rivers Edge to advertise specific offers for end of financial year functions, and recognises that clients desire something “a little bit different.”

Sales and Events Manager at River’s Edge Alaina Hazeldine said: “The most popular [format] for the end of the financial year is a dance floor with DJ for a party scene. However, we are a high-end venue hosting everything from contortionists to YOYO artists, 1920’s show girls and beauty bars.”

River’s Edge is currently advertising a “complimentary chocolate buffet” with personalised gift boxes emblazoned with your company logo for EOFY parties.

It won’t be all extravagance – cost-cutting is a big theme in finance companies at the moment as they continue the drive for yield, so there are more relaxed options.

Like 100 jugs of beer.

A drink and dine promotion advertised by Sydney’s The Abercrombie to promote EOFY parties encourages companies to “bail up the boss” and give them a 100 ways to thank you.

Enjoy the parties – celebrate responsibly.

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