Big Gay Out 2022 Has Been Abruptly Cancelled Over COVID-19 Concerns
The festival has been canned after organisers received advice from the Prime Minister.
January 19, 2022
Big Gay Out, the one-day festival that's known as being the peak of Auckland Pride Week, has been cancelled over COVID-19 concerns.
The event was due to be held at Coyle Park in Auckland on Sunday, February 13, with performances from Chelsea Jade, Theia and Half Queen all on the lineup, as well as the annual crowning of MR Gay NZ. Political figures like the Prime Minister also regularly take the stage for a speech.
But in light of the rapidly unfolding outbreak of Omicron overseas, Big Gay Out hosts The NZ Aids Foundation (NZAF) released a statement on Wednesday, January 19, saying they've made the "difficult decision" to cancel this year's event.
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"In light of the rapidly unfolding omicron situation, and given the communication from the Prime Minister in recent days, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel this year's Big Gay Out," the statement on the official website reads.
The organisers wrote they were excited to hold the event at the current orange light setting, but the public's health and safety are at the centre of their work.
"Overseas, we have seen the level of disruption that the new rapidly spreading variant of COVID-19, omicron, is capable of causing. We also want to ensure that the actions of NZAF do not contribute to the risk of overburdening the health system and we do not endanger the health of our rangatahi and their whānau.
"We want to recognise the mahi from a significant number of stakeholders, partners, and allies, who have worked tirelessly to make this event happen in the challenging COVID-19 environment."
It's the first time the event has been cancelled since 2018, when it was canned over weather conditions.
During last year's Big Gay Out it was announced three cases of COVID-19 had spread in the community in South Auckland, but the event would still continue. The following day, Auckland went into a three day lockdown.
For more information about the Big Gay Out and to read the full statement from organisers, head to the offical website.
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