Vivid Festival Cancelled Over Coronavirus Concerns
Sydney's iconic Vivid festival has been cancelled, after the federal government called for the canning of large events over coronavirus concerns.
NSW tourism minister Stuart Ayres announced the cancellation on Sunday morning. It comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison's advisory last week that, from Monday, Australians should avoid gatherings of more than 500 people, in a bid to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
It is just the latest large event to be cancelled since the government warning, with major gatherings from music festivals to sporting fixtures affected.
More than two million people visited Vivid Sydney through the 2019 festival, injecting more than $172 million into the state's economy.
"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," Ayres said in a statement.
"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."
The Vivid festival -- of light shows, concerts and other cultural events -- was due to run from May 22 to June 13. It is billed as the largest event of its type in the southern hemisphere.
This year would have been the festival's 12th instalment.
“We are currently working through the full implications of the cancellation and will provide further information and advice as soon as it’s available," Ayres said.
"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."
More to come.