2017 Best Market and/or Street Activation Award Winner (joint)

Stirling Laneways - Stirling Business Association

Stirling Laneways is ‘more than a market’. It is a celebration of village life and the spectacular seasons in the Adelaide Hills and brings something colourful and a little bit crazy to market Sundays in Stirling. Laneways complements the Stirling lifestyle and the existing retail trade and is dedicated to supporting the local community. Stirling Laneways is an initiative of the Stirling Business Association, and operates in collaboration with local businesses, performance artists and community organisations.

Stirling Laneways is located in the pedestrian laneways and spaces that stem directly from the mainstreet (Mt Barker Road). Laneways splashes giant strokes of colour into the streets and tucked away places of Stirling and encourages people to explore the lanes and side-streets to discover artists and entertainers mingled between local traders and pop-up stalls. A highlight of the 2016-17 Stirling Laneways season was the successful integration with the new Stirling Fringe event, with co-promotional activities, extra Fringe artists appearing at Stirling Laneways and a significant increase in visitation at the February event as a result.

Key Partners Involved:

Stirling Laneways is owned and operated by the Stirling Business Association, a not-for-profit organisation that serves 150+ Members in Stirling. The Stirling Business Association liaises with the Adelaide Hills Council and the Stirling Market to ensure cohesive management through the village on Laneways event days. Stirling Laneways has also built a strong relationship with its stallholders, and operates at capacity at each event. Stirling Laneways reserves stallholder sites at each event for local community groups and offers these at discounted rates, including an area called ‘Tin Lids Lane’ specifically reserved for entrepreneurial children’s pop-up stalls.

The Stirling Business Association's primary stakeholders are its Members, and decisions in relation to Stirling Laneways are made on the basis of what is in the best interests of those Members and the overall effect on trading conditions in Stirling. In return, Members provide an effective promotional mechanism for promoting Stirling Laneways to their own networks and customer bases.


The Stirling Business Association’s decision to embark on its Stirling Laneways journey stemmed from two key issues. The first was regular feedback from traders in Stirling that the Stirling Market, whilst well managed, well known and well attended, had become a self-contained destination that did not improve, and in some cases had a negative effect, on trading conditions for bricks and mortar businesses on market days. The second reason was a desire on behalf of the Stirling Business Association to expand its event calendar from one major event (the Stirling Autumn Garden Festival) that concentrated resources and risk into a single day's activities, into a broader event calendar that promoted Stirling's offering on a more regular, seasonal basis, and was in keeping with its brand: Stirling - Four seasons, a thousand reasons.


Stirling Laneways key objectives and strategies are as follows:

To promote Stirling as a destination and draw visitors to Stirling

  • Marketing initiatives including banners, print (Laneways postcards) and digital (Facebook, Instagram, email newsletters and the Stirling Adelaide Hills website)
  • Photographer capturing Laneways' events and creation of a Laneways photo library
  • External PR is engaged for the 2 larger Laneways events in September (Spring) and April (Autumn)

To draw visitors through all parts of the mainstreet so that they discover all that Stirling has to offer

  • Colourful bunting denoting Laneways spaces
  • Pop-up stalls and entertainment located in pedestrian laneways and spaces off the mainstreet
  • Use of all available spaces along the length of the mainstreet

To improve trading conditions for bricks and mortar retail and hospitality businesses in Stirling

  • Absolutely NO food and drink pop-up stalls at Laneways. This is
  • entirely serviced through existing cafes and restaurants, many of whom offer Laneways specials and push out into Laneways spaces
  • Curated Laneways pop-up stalls that are not in direct competition
  • with existing businesses
  • Laneways layout that encourages attendees to walk the entire
  • mainstreet and many pedestrian laneways and spaces, ensuring discovery of Stirling businesses including those that do not have mainstreet frontage
  • Trader communication prior to the event outlining the theme, entertainment options and planned activations so that traders are fully briefed and can participate in the monthly themed activities

To encourage a longer stay in Stirling

  • Provision of high calibre entertainment
  • Provision of market infrastructure including tables and chairs
  • Promotional initiatives encouraging attendees to ‘make a day of it’ and book into local restaurants for lunch.

To encourage repeat visitation

  • Theming of each Laneways to keep it interesting
  • Continually changing entertainment
  • Seasonal linkages
  • Deliberate changes to the event layout and stallholder attendance to encourage even regular attendees to explore


To ensure a high calibre of market delivery the Stirling Business Association engages the services of professionals to deliver Laneways.

The Stirling Laneways Director is responsible for all aspects of the market’s operation including stakeholder liaison, Laneways design and programming, marketing and social media, and bump-in and bump-out.

The Stirling Laneways Entertainment Director is responsible for Laneways theming, the engagement of entertainers according to the theme and also operates as a ‘host’ at each Laneways market.

Stirling Laneways operates between 10am and 4pm on the 4th Sunday of each month between September and April, with bump-in commencing from early morning and bump-out completed by early evening.


Stirling Laneways operates at full capacity with pop-stalls and operates a waiting list, allowing the Stirling Business Association to carefully curate the market content.

Each Laneways records pedestrian traffic flow averaging 3,000 people per hour around the Stirling Laneways precincts:

  • Adelaide Hills: 1,050 (35%)
  • Adelaide metro: 1,230 (41%)
  • National: 60 (2%)
  • International: 60 (2%)
  • Unknown: 600 (20%)

Prior to Laneways, local traders reported an impact (on Stirling Market days) varying from a downturn in trade (of 30%-50%) to an increase in trade (up to 100%) compared to regular Sundays.

Since Laneways’ ‘activation’ these traders have reported Laneways has increased their trade from 150% to 250% compared to regular Sundays.