Vivid Sydney 2020, Sydney Film Festival cancelled in 'responsible albeit devastating decision'

Vivid Sydney 2020 and the Sydney Film Festival have been cancelled by the hosts on recommendations by the Federal Government and health authorities. 
Sydney Opera House (Photo: Internet)
Sydney Opera House (Photo: Internet)

The New South Wales Government has announced the cancellation of Vivid Sydney 2020 following recommendations by the Federal Government and health authorities to limit non-essential organised gatherings to less than 500 people to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 

Destination NSW said that while the cancellation of the event is disappointing and another major setback for the tourism industry, it is the right thing to do to control the spread of infection and keep people safe. 

"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 Sydney, the largest festival of light, music and ideas in the Southern Hemisphere, was scheduled to run from 22 May - 13 June 2020. The cancellation means that all elements of ‘Vivid Sydney - Lights, Music and Ideas’ will not proceed in 2020. 

Vivid Sydney debuted in 2009 and is owned, managed and produced by Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency.

In 2019, a record 2.4 million people attended Vivid Sydney, generating $172 million for the NSW economy.

<em>A view of Sydney (Photo: Internet)</em>
A view of Sydney (Photo: Internet)

Earlier, Sydney Film Festival 2020 was also cancelled due to coronavirus concerns.

Joining the growing list of the cancelled events due to the concerns of the spread of novel coronavirus, the organisers of the Sydney Film festival have decided to not hold the scheduled event.

The festival was earlier scheduled to take place in June in Australia's city and festival organisers called the move a "responsible decision - albeit a devastating one."

The state of New South Wales has issued an order banning large gatherings until mid-June, as a response to the coronavirus outbreak.

However, the organisers did not offer an alternative date for this year, instead, they said that the film festival will return next year, in 2021, "with a more crucial role than ever before."

"It is with deep regret that, for the first time in its history, the Sydney Film Festival board and management must announce the cancellation of this year's festival," said festival director Nashen Moodley, in a letter emailed to the industry.

Moodley further said that the decision to cancel this year's Sydney Film Festival was keeping the priority of the health and safety of the community.

The event holders also said that it will contact 2020 ticket holders to offer 2021 replacements or to process returns, reports confirmed. 

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