Organisers of this Saturday’s Retail Therapy festival are hoping a refurbished Oxford Street and a drag-heavy entertainment program will draw a generous response to the traditional Bobby Goldsmith Foundation fundraiser.

Formerly known as Shop Yourself Stupid, this year’s festival takes place with the Oxford Street upgrade all but complete.

Phil Wharton from local retailers group Darlinghurst Business Partnership expected the new-look strip to draw an impressive crowd on the weekend.

Definitely one of the things we want to get across to people -¦ is that Oxford Street has been through a tough time and it’s come through and it’s starting to get back to what it was, he told Sydney Star Observer.

BGF has scaled back its fundraising target from $30,000 to $20,000 this year, with cash collections confined to the Oxford Street area, chief executive Bev Lange told the Star.

I think fundraising generally across the fundraising sector is more difficult, and we’ve restructured our budgets to reflect that, Lange said.

We really want to focus our attentions on Oxford Street and support the retailers along that strip.

Retail Therapy promoters hope to woo the crowds with an entertainment line-up including singers Naomi Palmer and Shauna Jensen on the Taylor Square main stage.

Drag queens will also feature strongly. Joyce Maynge will run a Magical Makeover booth and punters will take revenge on Sydney showgirls at the Dunk-a-Drag stand at Taylor Square.

A 5:30pm drag spectacular will see about 25 performers take to the main stage.

Oxford Street venues will also host Retail Therapy shows but, as in 2005, the Miss BGF drag pageant will not take place.

We’re thrilled with the line-up, Lange said. [Entertainment coordinator] Trevor Ashley has done a great job in pulling together the program.

We’re also thrilled with the amount of support we’ve got from the retailers and indeed the venues.

Retail Therapy is on Saturday 25 February along Oxford Street from noon to 6:30pm.

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