AgQuip, FarmFest cancelled for 2020

By: Andrew Hobbs

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Five more events have been officially cancelled due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic

AgQuip, FarmFest cancelled for 2020
Attendees at AgQuip 2019

 

After initially being postponed, organisers have officially cancelled AgQuip and FarmFest 2020 due to concerns over COVID-19 restrictions. 

Organisers ACM Rural Events had initially postponed both events. NSW-based AgQuip, usually held in August, had been postponed to November and Queensland's FarmFest, usually in June, had been postponed to October.


The Henty Machinery Field Days have also been cancelled for 2020. 


However ACM Rural Events group manager Kate Nugent says the time had come to make a call to cancel the events. 

"Considering the size, scale and complexity of such important events to the primary industry and the regional and rural communities, we need surety in order to proceed," she says.

"The new lockdown controls now in Victoria and the potential for further reimposition of restrictions in NSW have created further uncertainty."

Held in Toowoomba, the CRT FarmFest field days will be next staged from 8-10 June 2021, while Gunnedah's AgQuip field days will be next staged from 17-19 August 2021.

Riverina Field Days 

But these aren't the only events to be cancelled of late, with organisers of the Riverina Field Days also announcing they would not proceed this year. 

Initially scheduled to be held in May, organisers had planned to hold the event in early September following the initial outbreaks of COVID-19.

But Riverina Field Days organiser Roly Zappacosta says community health and well-being comes first.

"It’s been a roller-coaster of decisions. When we first postponed our event from May to September, we were quite confident that by September things were going to be bright," he says.

"In fact, we were very close to resume planning, however the situation in Victoria has not given us any confidence to pursue a successful and safe field day this year."

"We aren’t willing to put our community at risk by having travelling exhibitors or mass gatherings in our city. As much we’d like to return to ‘normal’ life, it’s going to take some time before people feel comfortable attending events"

The focus will now shift to the 2021 event, scheduled to be held on May 14-15 of that year.

Riverland Field Days

From NSW to South Australia, the Riverland Field Days organising committee has also cancelled this year's event, which was scheduled to be held from 18-19 September this year in Barmera.

Committee chairman Ian Webber says while the committee felt it was the right decision, it was a disappointing one. 

"We have not missed a year since the first field day in 1958. It is a major event in our region and State, and an important part of business promotion for the many exhibitors," he says.

"However, the health and safety of our volunteers, exhibitors and community comes first, and we don’t wish to hold an event where that could be at risk."

"We will now focus on 2021 when we will be back – brighter and better on 17th and 18th September."

Sungold Field Days

And finally, in a sign 2021 will not be immune from the effects of COVID-19, organisers of the Sungold Field Days held outside Warrnambool have announced plans to cancel next year's event.

"We would normally be commencing preparations for the 2021 event, but at this stage we cannot proceed with confidence that we could host the event in a way that is safe for attendees, exhibitors and our team," organisers say.

"While we are disappointed, we feel we have made the best decision given the current circumstances."

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