Uncertainty forces Port Fairy Folk Festival to cancel March event

The Port Fairy Folk Festival has cancelled its 2021 event following ongoing uncertainty around coronavirus restrictions.

While this year’s event was one of the last festivals held in Victoria before coronavirus restrictions were introduced, organisers are concerned the restrictions will still be in place in March next year when the festival was due to run.

The event usually attracts up to 30,000 people to the south-west Victorian town.

“We started looking at options for smaller festivals … [but] we thought that was going to be very, very difficult to handle,” Committee president John Young told the ABC.

“Front and foremost was our concern that we did not want to bring people to Port Fairy that potentially could put our community and the people that work and play at the festival at some sort of risk.

“We escaped any issues with the 2020 festival back last March and thankfully emerged from that with nobody being infected by coronavirus.”

Young said if the restrictions eased significantly before March they would re-evaluate the situation.

“If something did lighten up and there were less restrictions in March next year we may be able to do something, but we can’t look at that just yet,” he said.

The cancellation follows Port Fairy Folk Festival recently appointing Justin Rudge as its new program director, who replaced Caroline Moore who resigned in March in the wake of this year’s festival.