Vivid Festival and Easter Show cancelled as coronavirus causes event chaos

Sydney’s annual festival of music and lights Vivid has been cancelled following the federal government’s advisory against “non-essential” gatherings over 500 people.

“Vivid Sydney is a bright star of Sydney’s event calendar so the decision to cancel was not taken lightly. As the event owner, we must follow the advice of health officials to ensure the health and safety of our citizens and everyone involved with Vivid Sydney,” a Destination NSW spokesperson said.

“We have taken the decision early in consideration of those planning to travel to Sydney for the festival, our commercial partners, artists, and volunteers so as to minimise the disruption and impact on them.

“We are currently working through the full implications of the cancellation and will provide further information and advice as soon as it’s available.

“It’s been an incredibly tough time for the tourism industry and this is yet another body blow, but NSW will bounce back and Vivid Sydney will shine brighter than ever in 2021.”

Vivid is the largest event to cancel so far, attracting 2.7 million people last year, and follows a number of other cultural events that have announced they will not go ahead this year.

Sydney’s Royal Easter Show has also been cancelled for the first time since the 1919 Spanish Flu epidemic.

Other events that have so far been impacted or are under review include:

  • The Formula 1 Melbourne Grand Prix was cancelled on Friday morning.
  • The One Day International series between Australia and New Zealand has been cancelled after one match.
  • The entire AFL season, and the AFLW season will also be played without spectators “for the foreseeable future”.
  • The NRL season and Super Rugby will be played behind closed doors.
  • The Melbourne international comedy festival’s entire three-week program has been cancelled.
  • The Sydney writers’ festival suspended ticket sales.
  • Luna Park Melbourne will close for two weeks.
  • Sydney multi-cultural event Parramasala has been postponed.
  • The Other Art Fair at the Cutaway, Barangaroo has been cancelled.
  • Sydney’s Festival of Dangerous Ideas has suspended ticket sales.
  • Brisbane Comedy Festival events are under review from Monday onward.
  • Adelaide’s Tasting Australia has been postponed until October or November.
  • Melbourne’s Food and Wine festival has been postponed until later this year.
  • All remaining events at Virgin Australia Fashion Festival in Melbourne are cancelled.