After months of uncertainty one of Southland's most anticipated events will be back on the menu next year.

The Bluff Oyster and Food Festival will be held on May 23. Tickets go on sale today (Friday July 26).

Festival trust chairman John Edminstin said after careful consideration it was decided earlier this week to go ahead with next year's festival.

The future of event was in doubt after the trust was denied permission to demolish a deteriorating historic building in Bluff, which it cannot sell and does not have the money to maintain.


"We have done a lot of work in the last 12 years and people really enjoy it, so the festival needed to be kept."

Consent to demolish the category 2 listed heritage building, the Club Hotel in Gore St, was denied by the Invercargill City Council in May.

Members were disappointed at the situation the trust found itself in and they still wanted to demolish the building, he said.

"We will leave the Club Hotel there - at least for next year's event. In two or three months we will start to discuss other options for the building."

About 4000 tickets were available for the festival. Mr Edminstin believed safety risks surrounding the building were under control.

"Safety could be a problem in the future if we have further deterioration. But at the moment, Invercargill City Council don't deem the building unsafe, so everything is good to carry on."