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Birdman Rally and Moomba Parade will not feature in revised Moomba festival plans

Birdman Rally and Moomba Parade will not feature in revised Moomba festival plans
February 11, 2021

Aiming to ensure that the 2021 Moomba festival can proceed within COVID-19 restrictions for major events, the City of Melbourne has today advised its revised plans for the annual event will see the traditional Birdman Rally and Moomba Parade will not go ahead this year.

Advising of the efforts that the Council is going to ensure the festival goes ahead and that COVIDSafe plans for the event have been submitted to the Victorian Government, Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp, stated “the festival normally attracts more than 1.3 million people so we’ve had to make some major changes to our plans. We still think we can proceed with the festival in new and creative ways that will capture the hearts of Melburnians - just as Moomba has done since 1955.

“We’ve had to make a lot of tough decisions in the interests of community safety and the Birdman Rally does not form part of our plans for the Moomba festival this year. The Birdman Rally normally attracts almost 40,000 people in a confined space so it’s just not possible during a pandemic.”

“While the Birdman Rally can’t go ahead this year, we’re still planning colourful, free and family-friendly attractions to surprise and delight Melburnians.”

“Moomba provides free family entertainment across the long weekend and helps keep cash registers ringing and Melburnians in jobs. More than 1,000 workers employed from more than 120 businesses and service providers are engaged to deliver Moomba.”

The Birdman Rally began in 1976 and took a small break between 1994 and 1999. Last year a record $111,858 was raised for various charities as 16 competitors attempted to take flight across the Yarra River.

The Lord Mayor acknowledged that while some aspects will need to be changed, the City of Melbourne is hopeful the Moomba festival will proceed over the Labour Day long weekend - from Friday 5th to Monday 8th March.

Lord Mayor Capp noted “we will continue to monitor the latest health advice from the Victorian Government to continue our discussions to try and make sure this much-loved community event can proceed safely.”

Explaining that the parade is not in plans for this year’s festival, she added “unfortunately the Moomba Parade cannot be delivered as a ticketed event, so it won’t be going ahead on its usual route through Domain Parklands. Instead we are working on plans for a re-imagined Moomba Playground at the Queen Victoria Gardens.

“Under the plans submitted to the Victorian Government Moomba events would be ticketed to help ensure COVID-19 safety and to facilitate contact tracing. The majority of Moomba events would remain free to enter. Marshals would also be employed to help manage physical distancing requirements.”

Last year’s parade saw 1,900 performers and a range of colourful floats make their way past 32,500 people.

Moomba Festival is delivered by the City of Melbourne, which thanks its valued partners for their support, including the Victorian Government, Ticketek, oOh!media and the Transport Accident Commission (TAC).

Click here for more information on the Moomba website.

Image: Moomba's Birdman Rally will not feature in this year's festival.

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