Royal Melbourne Show gets the axe again

29th July 2021 | Eativity editors

The 2021 Royal Melbourne Show has been cancelled for the second consecutive year due to the ongoing uncertainty and operational constraints, challenges and risks associated with holding major events with large, free-roaming crowds during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2021 Royal Melbourne Show was scheduled to be held over 11 days from Thursday, September 23 to Sunday, October 3 at Melbourne Showgrounds.

“The Royal Melbourne Show is a much-loved major Victorian event that is a unique and valuable platform to promote and celebrate excellence in agriculture, with thousands of producers from rural and regional Victoria coming together at Melbourne Showgrounds,” says Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) President Matt Coleman.

“While the RASV board is disappointed to make the decision to cancel the 2021 Royal Melbourne Show, we felt it important for all those planning to be involved in the event – including exhibitors, competitors, judges, stewards, sponsors and volunteers – that they have certainty so they can make informed decisions in relation to their own arrangements.”

The 2019 Royal Melbourne Show was one of the biggest on record.

The Royal Melbourne Show is Victoria’s largest and most iconic annual community event, attracting 450,000 visitors over 11 days each year and contributing more than $244 million in value to the state of Victoria’s economy annually.

The show has been the RASV’s signature event since the organisation was formed in 1848. It has only been called off on two occasions prior to 2020. First, when the showgrounds were requisitioned for the war effort in 1915, and again during WWII, between 1940-1945.

“It’s deeply disappointing that the Victorian community will not 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 are incredibly fortunate to have a passionate and supportive community who look forward to being involved in the Royal Melbourne Show. These include our loyal volunteers, staff, members, sponsors and exhibitors, along with 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 would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to everyone involved in the Royal Melbourne Show for their understanding and support.”

Cancelled two years in a row? That’s despigable.

Despite not holding the 2021 Royal Melbourne Show, the RASV is exploring and developing new initiatives and opportunities 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 by providing Melbourne Showgrounds as a venue for COVID testing and vaccinations.

The first Royal Melbourne Show after WWII attracted record attendance, and the RASV looks forward to history repeating itself in 2022, when the show returns bigger and better.