Perth Festival opening event cancelled

Perth Festival has cancelled its large-scale opening event Escape due to fears over the Omicron variant.

Set to take place on February 11-12, the event was expected to attract tens of thousands of people across multiple sites in Fremantle.

“I’m heartbroken for all those who have put so much of themselves into what was going to be an extraordinary production,” Perth Festival artistic director Iain Grandage told PerthNow.

“We are doing everything we can to support them while remaining hugely excited about the multitude of other chapters that make up our 2022 Festival.”

Perth Festival executive director Nathan Bennett said the festival would prioritise paying those artists, contractors and suppliers affected by the cancellation.

“We also are thankful for the leadership and support of the State Government, our principal partner Lotterywest, founding partner the University of Western Australia and all our valued partners and supporters who stand so firmly by our side as we continue to navigate the evolving challenges of this pandemic,” Bennett said.

The rest of the program is still scheduled to go ahead under the current Covid restrictions.