Victor Harbor's Rock 'n' Roll Festival has been cancelled for 2020

DANCE: Action at the 2019 Rock 'n' Roll Festival in Victor Harbor. This year's event has been cancelled.
DANCE: Action at the 2019 Rock 'n' Roll Festival in Victor Harbor. This year's event has been cancelled.

It is without doubt that the Victor Harbor Rock 'n' Roll Festival provides a significant boost to the local economy and is a much-loved community celebration after the cold winter periods.

CEO of the City of Victor Harbor Victoria MacKirdy said that due to the current uncertainty regarding COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings, the council has made the tough decision to cancel this year's event.

"In addition to this uncertainty, the amount of time, planning and the 100 plus volunteers involved to program, prepare and promote a festival of its scale, made it a necessary decision.

"However, council recognise that it is still vitally important that we continue to attract tourists to the region to provide important economic returns to the community" Ms MacKirdy said.

To achieve this, council has redirected the 2020 Rock 'n' Roll Festival funding of $27,500 towards the delivery of a program of smaller activities over a longer period with each individual activity attracting smaller crowds in line with COVID-19 guidelines.

A program of activities will be developed in the coming months within COVID-19 restriction guidelines and will be launched in September 2020 to coincide with the completion of the amphitheatre on Soldiers Memorial Gardens as part of Stage 3 of the Victor Harbor Mainstreet Precinct upgrade.

The program will be promoted for three months leading into the summer period.

The program of activities could include a concert series in the amphitheatre, together with a range of indoor and outdoor activities that celebrate the region from guided walks to open air performing artists, live music, art and wine classes, boat cruises and many more.

A band playing some good old rock 'n' roll on one of the stages at the festival.

A band playing some good old rock 'n' roll on one of the stages at the festival.

The local community and businesses will be invited to host activities to support the program, with more details to come.

City of Victor Harbor Rock 'n' Roll Festival Director Stacey Richardson said the festival team was now focusing on delivering an even better event next year from September 17 to 19, 2021.

"Sadly we have made the decision to cancel this year's Victor Harbor Rock 'n' Roll Festival due to COVID-19 restrictions," Ms Richardson said.

At the June council meeting elected members understood the reasons for the 2020 cancellation of the event, but were disappointed.

Councillor Tim Glazbrook said the Victor Harbor Rock 'n' Roll Festival had been a community success story.

"It is sad it is not happening, but hope local businesses and the hotels can do something similar to give a vibrancy like the festival has done for many years. It has been a great success," Cr Glazbrook said.

Councillor Peter Charles said the cancellation was a "pity".

"COVID-19 has claimed a lot of events and it is a pity the Rock 'n' Roll Festival is one of them.

"It would be great to utilise the amphitheatre when it is completed on Soldiers Memorial Gardens for events," Cr Charles said.

The event attracts people who love the era of the 1950s.

The music, the dancing and the cars are all on show in the Mainstreet Precinct of Victor Harbor and on Warland Reserve.

More than 10,000 people flock to Victor Harbor on the weekend of the festival and gives an economic boost to businesses that have experienced a long Winter.

This story Wipe-out for Victor's Rock 'n' Roll Festival first appeared on The Times.

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