Vivid, Walkleys Mid-Year Dinner and Melbourne International Comedy Festival among the events to fall over due to coronavirus

Some of Australia’s largest cultural events have fallen victim to the coronavirus, cancelling the mass gatherings as government measures and precautionary steps are implemented to slow down the rate of infection.

Sydney’s Vivid Festival won’t go ahead in 2020, and neither will the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, which was due to kick off in just 10 days on 25 March.

There will be no Vivid in 2020

“Unfortunately, Vivid Sydney 2020 has been cancelled on the recommendations of the Australian Government and health authorities regarding non-essential, organised gatherings of more than 500 people. Vivid Sydney will shine brighter than ever in 2021,” organisers said.

MICF, which attracts acts from all over the world, said it was devastated to have to take this action, but it was the right thing to do.

“Our primary concern is the health and welfare of our artists and participants, staff and audiences. Cancelling the Festival is heartbreaking but the only decision possible to support the community’s efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19),” the festival said.

The Sydney Writers Festival is due to take place from 27 April to 3 May, but has suspended ticket sales until it decides the best course of action.

“The situation is developing rapidly, and we are following worldwide updates as well as the advice of the Australian Government, New South Wales Government, the Chief Medical Officer and the World Health Organisation. We are now working through next steps and will provide an update as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience and forbearance,” it said on Friday.

And the Walkley Fund for Journalism Dinner, scheduled for Friday 29 May in Melbourne, has been cancelled as a precautionary measure.

“The health and safety of our speakers, attendees, partners and staff is our first and foremost priority. We will continue to assess the situation and will advise our networks when we plan to host the event again,”  a spokesperson told Mumbrella.

“We do apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused and encourage contacting us with any questions or concerns you may have.”

Mumbrella’s Automotive Marketing Summit in Melbourne, due to take place on Tuesday, is also postponed. Further updates on plans for future events will be made available this week.

Update: Sydney Writers’ Festival has announced its cancellation. Customers who had already purchased tickets will be refunded. 


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