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Lockdown sees cancellation of ARV and AFIC conferences along with HSBC Sydney Sevens and Australian Masters Games

Lockdown sees cancellation of ARV and AFIC conferences along with HSBC Sydney Sevens and Australian Masters Games
September 6, 2021

Ongoing Coronavirus lockdowns in NSW and Victoria and their impact on other states have seen announcements on the cancellation of events and industry conferences over recent days.

Australian Festival Industry Conference 
Among industry events, the Australian Festival Industry Conference (AFIC) - scheduled for November - has now been postponed to run from Tuesday 30th August to Thursday 1st September 2022.

Blaming the ongoing national COVID-19 crisis, says AFIC founder and Event Director, Carlina Ericson stated “it is with great sadness that we announce our decision to postpone the conference yet again. With the situation worsening in NSW, VIC and ACT, it makes it impossible for us to deliver the event as originally planned in November 2021.

“Over the last few months we’ve continued to witness further event postponements and cancellations. I am conscious that everyone is going through an incredibly difficult time and I still want to ensure that we can eventually meet face-to-face to discuss how we move forward as an industry.”

ARV Industry Conference 
Due to the extended restrictions Victoria-wide, Aquatics and Recreation Victoria (ARV) has announced the rescheduling of its 2021 ARV Industry Conference from Wednesday 15th to Friday 17th September 2021 to Wednesday 16th to Friday 18th February 2022.

When staged next year, the Conference, sponsored by PerfectGym, will be focused under the theme ‘Our industry surviving and thriving together’.

Australian Masters Games
The 2021 Australian Masters Games which were due to be held from 9th to 16th October 2021 will be postponed until 23rd to 30th April 2022. 

Organisers advise "this has been a difficult decision however, the health and safety of our competitors, officials and volunteers is our key priority.  

"The decision to postpone has been made in consultation with key stakeholders including the Confederation of Australian Sport and the Western Australian Government through Tourism Western Australia, and careful consideration has been given to how we can deliver the best event possible to our passionate Australian masters sport community."

HSBC Sydney Sevens 
Friday saw World Rugby and Rugby Australia confirm that the HSBC Sydney Sevens will not take place in 2022.

The decision was taken in line with relevant government and international public health authority advice, and with the health and wellbeing of the community in mind.

The full HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series schedule is due to resume in 2022 however the Hamilton leg, the partner to the Sydney event, will also not go-ahead following consultation with World Rugby, the host unions, and their respective partners.

Rugby Australia and New Zealand Rugby will continue to consult with World Rugby regarding the establishment of several regional Oceania Sevens tournaments with the support of the Australian government, as preparation for the men's and women's teams ahead of the upcoming Commonwealth Games and Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2022.

Major golf tournaments pushed back
PGA of Australia and Golf Australia have advised of the postponement of the nation’s most prestigious golf tournaments, the Australian Open and the Australian PGA Championship, until early-2022.

The ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia and Golf Australia jointly announced on Friday that the Australian PGA Championship, scheduled for 2nd to 5th December at Royal Queensland, has been pushed back to 13th to 16th January 2022 while the Open has moved from 25th to 28th November at The Australian Golf Club in Sydney to a date yet to be announced in late-January or February.

Both bodies said they were disappointed to have to make changes to the planned dates, and cited concerns over public health and the potential difficulties surrounding quarantine arrangements for  Australian and international golfers as the reasons for the change of date.

Neither the Open nor the Australian PGA Championship were played in 2020 because of the pandemic, off the calendar for the first time since the Second World War.

PGA of Australia Chief Executive Gavin Kirkman advised that with continued momentum with the COVID-19 vaccination program, the governing bodies were very optimistic that the environment would change substantially by early next year, commenting "these decisions are not taken lightly when we are talking about our flagship tournaments that are playing opportunities for our members.

“But as much as the number of COVID-19 cases is a big concern, it’s also the quarantine requirements that make it difficult to run golf tournaments. Not all countries require international visitors to quarantine - America for example - and that puts Australia at a disadvantage in an international sport.”

Orange Blossom Festival
The Hills Shire in Western Sydney has advised that its Orange Blossom Festival has been cancelled for 2021.

Hills Shire Mayor Dr Michelle Byrne advised "regrettably, Council has had to make the tough decision to cancel Orange Blossom Festival’s main ‘Lights, Beats and Eats’ event for 2021.

"The organisers of many much-loved OBF community events, including the OBF Fun Run, Art Exhibition, Bonsai Show and many more have also advised they will not be proceeding this year. 

"While I understand how much our residents are looking forward to the return of community events, advice from NSW Health and the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Sydney have prevented us from celebrating this year.

"An enormous amount of effort is involved in staging a large festival with countless hours of work by Council, businesses and volunteers, meaning that even if our situation improves rapidly, it would be difficult to run an event the size of Orange Blossom Festival within a short timeframe."

Click here to view the scheduled industry events in the Australasian Leisure Management industry Calendar.

Images The Australian Festival Industry Conference (top) and teams at the HSBC Sydney Sevens in 2019 (below).

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13th July 2021 - Northern Territory Government announces cancellation of Arafura Games

6th July 2021 - Border uncertainty forces cancellation of Melbourne Formula One Grand Prix

30th June 2021 - Netball Australia announces cancellation of national championships

2nd September 2021 - Victorian Government to impose stricter rules for unvaccinated athletes at 2022 Australian Open

29th June 2021 - Golf Australia confirms Australian Open will be played in Sydney in 2021

18th January 2021 - South Australia secures rights to host 2023 Australian Masters Games

9th October 2020 - Australian Masters Games mark one-year-to-go milestone

3rd June 2020 - Events Management Queensland announce cancellation of 2020 Pan Pacific Masters Games

24th January 2020 - Entertainment and safety key as Hamilton readies for Rugby Sevens party

6th November 2019 - Inaugural Australian Festival Industry Conference deemed a success

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