Early bird ticket sales for FOOD Week are indicating the most popular events will sell out despite a challenging economic climate that's forcing many to tighten the purse strings. FOOD Week will take place for its 32nd year from April 5 to 14, 2024, and the positive outlook comes after tickets went on sale to Friends of FOOD members on Friday, December 1. However, the public will still get their chance to buy tickets to the most popular events such as Forage and The Sampson Street Lunch, when the remaining tickets go on sale on Tuesday, December 19. FOOD Week committee president Charlotte Gundry said there was a lot of interest in the lead-up to the pre-sale tickets and described it as really promising for the upcoming public sale. "We allocated a percentage to people who are members of Friends of FOOD and I think we've sold a really high percentage of those already," Ms Gundry said. "We had a lot of inquiry on the days leading up, people wanting to make sure they were friends and they were members and then as soon as the email went live then we could just watch the sales come through. "It's become a bit of a thing, particularly with Forage and Sampson Street, where you can see what the interest is by how quickly the tickets sell. "It kind of sets the scene for the demand and once we go one sale for the public it's even more intense." Ms Gundry said the committee works hard to manage people's expectations and to make it as fair and equitable as possible and accepts there might be more challenges due to the economic climate. "FOOD Week happens every year and we want to make sure that 2024 is just as good as any other year and hopefully people are still interested in coming along," she said. "The economic climate is a little different to 12 months ago, cost of living pressures, interest rates, all the things and so we do anticipate that will have a little bit of an effect but I'm fairly convinced that we will sell those two events out in particular. "It will certainly be interesting I think to see exactly how it pans out." However, on the back of the strong demand in the pre-release she's remaining positive and the timing of the ticket release was planned with a purpose. "With Christmas just around the corner we thought it would be a good idea to get the tickets on sale before Christmas with potential gift ideas. She said there will hopefully be a full program of events including other businesses such as restaurants and wineries selling tickets at the same time. "People can buy tickets to a few events during food week as Christmas gifts or something like that and we're just capitalising on that festive season and throwing another idea at people for potential gifts," Ms Gundry said. Forage and The Sampson Street Lunch are the most popular events and sell out annually. "That level of demand is obviously really high and because there's a history associated with those two events in particular being really successful and sort of unmissable type events," Ms Gundry said. "People just love coming to them and they just think they are awesome and they want to get tickets. "Sampson Street is in its fourth year this year and we've never had any spare tickets to that and Forage is very similar ... you never really have those spare tickets." Other events that are set to take place during FOOD Week including the Night Market and Shine the Light but those tickets aren't expected to sell until closer to the event.