As a child we went to the Show every year. In theory it was about the animals and agriculture, but for us it was about the displays, the rides and the showbags. I detect something similar with the Australian Open. It’s supposedly about the tennis, but increasingly it’s about the other activities: sitting around outside the courts in the different food and drink venues and so on.
Just the same, we weren’t impressed by the “side show” activities on our day at the tennis. The beer we bought was an up-market brand (all that was available) so was priced accordingly – but was served in a plastic cup! Yes, I know, there’s a “no glass” rule, but, hey, if it’s a premium product, then the “ambiance” of its presentation is a big part of the marketing ploy. Likewise the pizza slices – expensive, supposedly a high-end brand, but served in a cardboard box and frankly the quality was pretty terrible. In short, the brand names seem to be just cashing in on the exclusive rights without really caring about maintaining their reputation.
Afterwards, we walked over the new “Tenderrum Bridge” back to Fed Square, past various activities which I see are referred to as the “AO Festival”. Oh well, what with these activities and the expansion of the tennis centre itself, who needs natural parklands these days?