Aligning with the Government’s approach to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 by cancelling mass gatherings, Great South has made the difficult decision to cancel two of its major events for 2020.
The Southland Arts Festival, which was scheduled to be held from the 1-16 May and the ILT Kidzone Festival which was to be held from 8-13 July, have both been cancelled.
Great South Chief Executive Graham Budd said that while disappointing, it was the appropriate and right decision to make for the Southland community.
“The health, safety and overall wellbeing of event attendees has always been paramount to the events that Great South delivers and it is with this top of mind that we have decided not to proceed with these events for 2020,”
Last week the Government advised public events, or mass gatherings where 500 or more people are together in one place, at one time, should be cancelled as to try and slow the spread of COVID-19.
Mr Budd said that now, more than ever, it is important that we all do what we can to protect the wellbeing of our community, prevent the spread of COVID-19 and be understanding of the decisions that are made to keep us all safe.
As a result of the recent decisions, Great South is focusing on maintaining event listings on southlandnz.com so that the community has the latest information available and encouraged event organisers to get in touch about any changes they had for their upcoming events listed on the site.
In relation to the Southland Arts Festival, Great South may look to reschedule events for later in the year but Mr Budd said a decision around this would be directed by the situation and appetite of the community later in the year.
While the ILT Kidzone Festival will not go ahead in 2020, Great South Major Events Coordinator and ILT Kidzone Festival Director, Karen Witham said the focus was now on planning for the 2021 festival.
“While we won’t be delivering the festival this year, we are pleased to have confirmed the festival dates for 2021 and are looking forward to delivering a fantastic event that will give families the opportunity to connect, engage and learn from new experiences together,” she said.
The festival will be held from 14-19 July 2021.
Witham said she was pleased to be able to give Southlanders something to look forward to at this time and reiterated the importance of health, safety and overall wellbeing for the event’s and the community’s success.