The Sydney Showground has advised that it has given approval by NSW Health for it to host up to 60,000 ticket holders on site each day of this year's Sydney Royal Easter Show.
Having previously been advised by the NSW Government that visitor numbers would be restricted due to COVIDSafe restrictions, the 60,000-a-day capacity gives the Show the potential to attract up 720,000 attendees over its 12 days - which comes close to past record attendance numbers.
Describing the hosting numbers as a step in the right direction for events in NSW, Sydney Royal Easter Show General Manager, Murray Wilton stated “we have been working closely with NSW Health for the past six months to develop our plans and have invested significantly in infrastructure, equipment and systems to help protect the health and safety of all patrons, exhibitors, staff and competitors who attend the Show.”
With the Show not having been held in 2020 and the Sydney Showground’s wider event calendar impacted by the Coronavirus shutdown, planning for the 2021 Show has taken place in a far tighter timeframe than in previous years.
However, with Showground events staff integrated in the Royal Easter Show team, preparations have also taken account of the COVIDSafe environment with an additional $1.5 million investment in safety, social distancing and hygiene measures.
This includes 131 hygiene staff specifically focused on COVID hygiene, 62 COVID marshals focused on social distancing and 50 hand sanitiser sites across the Showground in addition to extensive handwash stations in place for bio security while all operators and outlets will also provide hand sanitiser.
The Showground has also introduced crowd management software that uses sensors across the site to determine capacity by pavilion and integration into the Show’s consumer app with a traffic light system.
Capacity measures and the need to enforce social distancing will also see some attractions as well as rides on Sideshow Alley, space a little further apart than in previous years.
Often described as the largest annual event in the Southern Hemisphere, promotion for this year’s Show is focussed on highlight how it’s ‘favourites are back’.
With the Show currently ‘bumping in’, preparations for the 12-day show are seeing an immense overlay across its 40 hectare site.
While the insurance crisis will see a small number of previously prominent thrill rides of past years not at the Show, Sideshow Alley will 60 rides while the food court’s 100 outlets will be capable of feeding 120,000 people on a given day.
Other attractions will see 400 commercial exhibitors at the Show, its ‘farm’ supporting 14,000 animals and Australia’s largest agricultural classroom and events in the Showground arena where evening entertainment will light up 6.5 tonnes of fireworks over the duration of the Show.
The Sydney Royal Easter Show runs from the 1st to 12th April.
Nigel Benton is the co-owner and publisher of Australasian Leisure Management, Australia and New Zealand’s only magazine for professionals in all areas of the leisure industry. Having established the magazine in 1997, shortly after his relocation to Australia, he has managed its readership rising to over 11,500 and its acceptance as the industry journal for professionals in aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues.
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