Season event chopped
Autumn Festival cancelled amid coronavirus pandemic
ORGANISERS of the Bright Autumn Festival had “no other option” than to cancel the popular festival this week after the state of Victoria went into lockdown.
Originally, the festival was only cancelling the Gala Day Parade following the Federal Government ban on non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people to combat the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) but the entire event has been shut down due to the general public being asked to only leave their homes for essentials.
The Bright Autumn Festival was established in 1962 and has run continuously for the past 59 years, making it one of the oldest continuously running festivals in Australia.
Brenden Holland said the ban on mass gatherings of 500 or more people and the current lockdown were the main reasons for cancelling the event.
“In the current environment, there was no other option,” he said.
“The Bright Autumn Festival has many events and activities that attract less than 500 people, so we were exploring the option for a scaled down festival but at this point it all has to go.
“Those events and activities are organised by a variety of local groups and businesses and the Bright Autumn Festival coordinates that information to produce a program.
“This was obviously subject to change if government directions on how to manage the COVID-19 pandemic changed.
“Looking at the Prime Minister’s directive to have non-essential travel and with shires possibly closing to visitors I can’t see it going ahead.
“In light of what’s transpired over the weekend I can’t see the likelihood of any festival this year.
“Events have moved so fast that it would seem inappropriate to promote open gardens and art galleries and things like that.”
The Wandiligong Nut Festival and Flea Market, included in the Autumn Festival schedule, have also been cancelled.
The move follows the cancellation of other major events around the region.
The 2020 festival was scheduled to take place from Friday, 24 April 2020 to Sunday, 3 May 2020.
FESTIVAL CANCELLED: Bright Autumn Festival president Brenden Holland said it’s a shame the festival has to be cancelled. PHOTO: Jenny Zamperoni.