For the first time in almost 60 years, it’s been announced that the Tunarama festival will not be going ahead in 2021.
While the Tunarama committee were determined to bring the festival to life next year, COVID safe regulations saw too many obstacles for the festival to be realistically sustainable and viable.
The current COVID outbreak in Adelaide has come at a terrible time for the iconic event, as it’s a critical time for the planning phase, which is now unable to proceed.
This year is the first year in Tunarama history where the festival has been unable to go ahead.
However, planning for the 2022 Tunarama festival is underway.
Tunarama Co-coordinator, Jane Intini said it was a heartbreaking decision that saw many tears but there were three main issues that affected their overall decision in cancelling the event.
“First of all it's about the safety of the community and many of our volunteers are older people I think this outbreak reminds us that COVID isn't gone.
"The second thing is, on Monday Health SA imposed a one person per 4 square metre rule for venues and at that capacity, none of our events are actually sustainable.
"And I think the third thing is, that it’s really about the timing. of our festival, if it had been in February or March we wouldn't be in this situation but right now is the most critical time for planning and putting all the last minute stuff that you have to plan and put in place and putting on a festival like this is not an easy thing, it's why the group take a year to plan it, it is a very complicated affair, but when you put all of those things together it just becomes an ugly situation and nobody wants a half of festival.
"I also suspect that given the circumstances around COVID of the minute whether it clears up this week or not, it's there. And you have to ask about how many people are gonna want to put themselves into a large crowds situation. said Jane.
“We have three part-time staff who have now been stood down this week without pay effective immediately.
“But we plan to return to office in January..
Jane says she has already started working on the 2022 festival and COVID willing it'll be the same festival everybody knows and loves with the fireworks in the parade and everything plus some extra bells and whistles for a 60th anniversary!
2021 President Sharon Humenick, said ’The safety of our community is of paramount concern to us and we are literally heartbroken that the thousands of hours that have already gone into building the 2021 Festival, from staff and volunteers alike, have to be put aside. This outbreak has meant we have fallen at the last hurdle through no fault of anyone. We certainly don’t want
Port Lincoln Tunarama Inc thanks EVERYONE – sponsors, supporters, staff, volunteers and donors – for their continued and unwavering support of our much-loved Festival.
Image credit: Tunarama