Ballarat has missed the opportunity to host an event that was expected to attract more than 20,000 visitors.
The Lost Trades Fair will instead move to Bendigo despite strong hopes it would come to Ballarat next year.
The Courier has contacted several artisans connected to the event, who have confirmed it will be moving from Kyneton where it has been held since 2014.
One said that while they thought Ballarat had a lot to offer, they didn't think Ballarat could match what organisers were looking for. Traffic in particular was cited as an issue.
The Courier understands that the event is likely to be held on the Labour Day holiday in March next year, but was unable to confirm the venue.
The City of Ballarat Council was in talks with the organisers, who were looking to move away from Kyneton after the fair's popularity outgrew the venue size.
The Lost Trades Fair began five years ago with around 30 artisans. It now has more than three times the amount of exhibitors and has attracted up to 22,000 people over a long weekend when held in Kyneton.
The fair has also since exhibited in Toowoomba in Queensland as well as the Hawkesbury Showgrounds in New South Wales.
The event features artisans who are experts in ancient trades, including jobs such as armourers, bell makers and shoemakers.
Several Ballarat artisans are expected to take part in the event next year.
News of the potential move away from Kyneton emerged back in June. While organisers confirmed a move was likely, they said that dates and venues were yet to be finalised.
In a statement, a council spokesperson confirmed the organiser had informed them the event would not be in Ballarat: "This is a decision entirely for the organiser. Council provided as much support as possible to secure the event in Ballarat.
The organiser has told us we went over and above in terms of assisting with scouting potential locations and venues, offers of in-kind and monetary assistance. We thought it was a good fit and we still think it is a good fitCity of Ballarat spokesperson
"The organiser has told us we went over and above in terms of assisting with scouting potential locations and venues, offers of in-kind and monetary assistance.
"We thought it was a good fit and we still think it is a good fit.
"While we're disappointed, we understand that the event will stay in regional Victoria, which is pleasing.
"We're continuing discussion with the event organisers on future rare trade opportunities.
The spokesperson also said council would continue to build Ballarat's events program with new events staff and to attract more events like Spilt Milk, AFL fixtures and White Night.
In the meantime, the City of Greater Bendigo Council sent out a media alert to announce a major event would be held in the city from 2020 for the next three years.
Visit Ballarat was contacted but did not respond in time for publication, while the fair organisers Lisa and Glen Rundell declined to comment.
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