The Shoalhaven River Festival has become another casualty of ongoing COVID concerns.
The festival scheduled for the 23rd of October has been cancelled for this year, due to uncertainty over COVID issues, and on advice from Shoalhaven City Council.
“We took their advice on board and decided it was best to go with their advice, and so we will be gathering up our thoughts, gathering up our enthusiasm, and focusing on the 2022 River Festival,” said organising committee chairman David Fleeting.
He said ongoing work to build a new bridge over the Shoalhaven River, and the impact it was having on the river’s surrounds, was another contributing factor in the festival being cancelled for a second successive year.
Last year’s River Festival was scheduled for October then postponed until November due to COVID concerns, then postponed again to November before eventually being cancelled.
Mr Fleeting said last year’s experience made a timely decision on the fate of this year’s event more important.
“We were about to move up with our planning, we were about to have our launch at the Nowra Golf Club on the 4th of August, and so it was very prudent to be making the decision now before we put a lot more time and effort into preparing for the festival,” he said.
The River Festival usually attracts more than 10,000 people, and “If it’s at a time when you can’t gather those people together then there’s no point to it,” Mr Fleeting said.
He looked forward to planning for the 2022 event, which he said would focus on expanding the River Festival to include all of the Shoalhaven though an expanded range of events.