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City of Melbourne reverses decision to cancel Moomba festival

City of Melbourne reverses decision to cancel Moomba festival
February 19, 2021

Melbourne's annual Moomba festival will now proceed with a revised program, after the reversal of an announcement made yesterday that it would be cancelled.

The City of Melbourne had blamed COVID-19 restrictions and the recent five-day lockdown for the cancellation of the annual Labour Day festival along the banks of the Yarra River.

However, in a statement released this afternoon, Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp said cancelling it was a mistake and the message from the community was loud and clear acknowledging “Melburnians want Moomba to proceed.

Lord Mayor Capp notes “we have been working closely overnight with the events industry and the Victorian Government to ensure we can deliver a reimagined Moomba 2.0.”

Moomba 2.0 will go ahead on the Labour Day long weekend with a reduced program of events - the annual Birman Rally, parade and water skiing will not be going ahead. Moomba 2.0 will be a COVIDSafe event, with ticketing and COVIDSafe marshals across all sites.

Lord Mayor Capp added “the circumstances of the past year have meant we were not able to host the traditional Moomba festival that the community has come to know and love.

“To all the small businesses, suppliers and creatives that work closely with the City of Melbourne, we remain committed to delivering events across our city.”

Instead of the usual festival featuring a parade, water skiing and the Birdman Rally, Moomba 2.0 will be a series of fun, family friendly events and attractions across the city that will help bring the buzz back to Melbourne.

The revised program will include:

  • The Moomba Carnival at Alexandra Gardens with smaller rides for children and thrilling rides for teenagers and adults.
  • Roving performers, entertainers and creative installations.
  • Food trucks running alongside the carnival with hot dogs, fairy floss and some healthy options
  • A busking competition in the city centre where the winner will receive a ‘golden ticket’ to Melbourne’s best events
  • Significant buildings across the city will be lit up in red to encourage everyone to show their love for Melbourne
  • An extended program of pop-up music performances and street art installations in city laneways
  • A Moomba Conversation event at the Library at the Dock
  • Concerts at the Myer Music Bowl featuring stars like the Cat Empire, Spiderbait, Jebediah and Bodyjar
  • Kids at the Bowl - four performances on Saturday and Sunday of the Labour Day weekend, featuring Justine Clarke, Jimmy Giggle, Dan Sultan, and Pevan & Sarah.
  • The Australian Skate League National Championships at Riverside Skate Park
  • An Immersive Digital Forest at ArtPlay from Saturday 6th to Monday 8th March

The Lord Mayor said Melburnians would be able to enjoy a Moomba long weekend filled with events, which will also help to support local jobs and businesses.

“I’d like to thank the Victorian Government, and particularly Minister Pakula, for working with the City of Melbourne to ensure Moomba can proceed and deliver a family friendly festival for our city,” the Lord Mayor said.

City Reactivation Portfolio Lead Councillor Roshena Campbell said Moomba is a favourite event for many Melburnians.

“We are pleased to be able to offer Moomba 2.0, with a revised program this year,” Campbell said. “We have worked hard overnight to bring back iconic elements of Moomba including the carnival for our families and the beloved Moomba monarchs.

“Traditionally, the event has contributed more than $32 million to the city’s economy each year. While the numbers will be lower this year, it is more important than ever to help support our tourism, creative and events industries.

“Everything we can do to support these industries now helps to ensure we keep Melburnians in work and support so many small businesses that rely on our reputation as one of the world’s best event cities.”

Related Articles

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

14th November 2020 - City of Melbourne seeks Expressions of Interest open for Moomba Carnival 2021 carnival and catering operations

8th February 2021 - COVIDSafe measures in place across Melbourne Park precinct for Australian Open

4th February 2021 - Australian Open lead-up events impacted after quarantine hotel worker tests positive for COVID-19

13th September 2017 - Expressions of Interest open for Moomba Carnival 2018 operations

4th October 2016 - Expressions of interest sought for 2017 Moomba Festival carnival and catering operators

5th July 2015 - Carnival and catering operators sought for 2016 Moomba Festival

10th October 2013 - Expressions of interest sought for carnival and catering operators for the 2014 Moomba Festival

30th December 2020 - AALARA releases ‘urgent request for the survival of our industry’

27th May 2020 - AALARA releases guide for the reopening of Australia’s attractions industry

9th February 2021 - 2021 Sydney Royal Easter Show to proceed under COVIDSafe rules

3rd October 2019 - Royal Melbourne Show welcomes nearly 500,000 visitors

17th February 2021 - VTIC fear loss of jobs in Victoria tourism and events without further support

12th February 2021 - Australian Open to continue without crowds as Victorian Government closes facilities during new lockdown


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