The Sydney Royal Easter Show Has Been Cancelled for 2020 Due to Australia's Mass Gatherings Ban
It's the first time the show has been cancelled because of a public health emergency since the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1919.
When the Australian Government announced a ban on non-essential events and mass gatherings of more than 500 people from Monday, March 16 due to COVID-19, a flurry of event cancellations was always going to follow. In Sydney, that means a massive change to the city's usual Easter ritual, with the Sydney Royal Easter Show shuttering its 2020 plans.
In a statement on the show's website, the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW announced that "due to increased public concern, to protect the health of stakeholders and visitors, and in response to the Prime Minister and COAG's direction that any organised mass gathering over 500 people should be cancelled, the 2020 Sydney Royal Easter Show is cancelled".
This year's event was due to run from Thursday, March 26–Monday, April 6 — with the show considered Australia's largest annual ticketed event, attracting more than 820,000 attendees each year.
First held in 1823, this is the first time the show has been cancelled because of a public health emergency since the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1919.
Ticket holders and exhibitors will receive refunds, and will be contacted about the next steps within the next five working days.
The Sydney Royal Easter Show joins a growing list of cancelled events and closed venues, with large swathes of cinemas shutting in China, Iran, South Korea, Japan and across Europe, and theme parks doing the same in Asia, Europe and the US. We've also seen the cancellation of Texan music and film festival South by Southwest and postponement of Coachella. More locally, Tasmania's Dark Mofo and both the Grand Prix in Melbourne and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival have all been cancelled.
The 2020 Sydney Royal Easter Show will no longer take place from Thursday, March 26–Monday, April 6 . For more information, visit the show's website.
To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in Australia and how to protect yourself, head to the Australian Government Department of Health's website.
Published on March 14, 2020 by Sarah Ward