Sea­son event chopped

Au­tumn Fes­ti­val can­celled amid coro­n­avirus pan­demic

Alpine Observer - - Front Page - By LEAH AN­DER­SON-BYRNE

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.

Fes­ti­val pres­i­dent

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.