Royal Melbourne Show gets the axe again
The Royal Melbourne Show has been cancelled for the second consecutive year. Organisers say this is due to ongoing uncertainty and operational constraints, challenges and risks associated with holding major events with large, free-roaming crowds during a pandemic. The show was scheduled to run from September 23 to October 3.
“The Royal Melbourne Show is a much-loved major Victorian event,” says Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) President Matt Coleman. “It’s a unique and valuable platform to promote and celebrate excellence in agriculture. Thousands of producers from rural and regional Victoria come together at Melbourne Showgrounds.
“The RASV board is disappointed to make the decision to cancel the show. But we felt it important for all those planning to be involved in the event – including vendors, exhibitors, competitors, judges, stewards, sponsors and volunteers – that they have certainty. They can then make informed decisions in relation to their own arrangements.”
The show is Victoria’s largest and most iconic annual community event. It attracts 450,000 visitors each year and contributes more than $244 million to Victoria’s economy.
The RASV first formed in 1848. The show has since become its signature event. Before COVID, there were only two occasions to call the event off. Both were world wars.
“It’s deeply disappointing that the Victorian community won’t be able to come together with family and friends to enjoy the fun, discovery and excitement of the Royal Melbourne Show for the second consecutive year,” says RASV CEO Brad Jenkins.
“We’re fortunate to have a passionate and supportive community that looks forward to being involved in the Royal Melbourne Show. These include our loyal volunteers, staff, members, sponsors and exhibitors. Also the thousands of competitors striving to win a coveted Melbourne Royal blue ribbon. We understand the cancellation of the show will come as very disappointing news. I’d like to extend my thanks to everyone involved in the Royal Melbourne Show for their understanding and support.”
Bring on 2022
Despite not holding the show, the RASV is now exploring new opportunities. Its developing initiatives to celebrate food and agricultural producers, rural and regional Victoria and creative industries. The RASV will also continue to play a valuable role for the Victorian community throughout the pandemic. The Melbourne Showgrounds is currently operating as a venue for COVID testing and vaccinations.
The first Royal Melbourne Show after WWII attracted record attendance. The RASV looks forward to history repeating itself in 2022, when the show returns bigger and better.