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Royal Adelaide Show 2021: Agricultural show cancelled due to Delta variant risks in South Australia

Premier Steven Marshall says the Royal Adelaide Show, scheduled for the next month, has been cancelled. The Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of South Australia (RA&HS) declared on Thursday that because of the rising Delta variant in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, they had to cancel the event.

The Royal Adelaide Show has been cancelled for the second year in progression because of COVID-19.

They said SA Health had prompted mass gathering events in the state must be essentially restricted in numbers for the foreseeable future, with a daily cap on participation to the Royal Adelaide Show being under 10,000 individuals.

“In a regular year, the Royal Adelaide Show can attract over 50,000 members of the public per day and, additionally, have up to 10,000 people working or competing at the Show each day,” a statement on the Royal Adelaide Show’s website said.

The Royal Adelaide Show was planned to run from Saturday, September 4 to Sunday, September 12.

At a press conference on Thursday morning, Mr. Steven Marshall said the decision was made with “huge regret” because of the current level of Covid limitations in the state.

“These mass events are extraordinarily difficult,” he said.

“I know there’ll be so many people that are disappointed.”

It is the second year straight that the annual event has been cancelled.

Mr. Steven Marshall said crowd numbers were an issue, similar to the inability of show ride operators to travel from different states.

“I know that the Show Society has looked at every single opportunity to work with SA Health to create a way that this could go ahead, but unfortunately, this year, it won’t be,” Mr. Steven Marshall said.

“Crowd numbers are one issue, but also many of the attractions — the rides — come in from interstate.

“We’ve got really difficult border restrictions, right around the country really at the moment, and that was just not going to facilitate it for this year.”

Numbers too low to even think about making event viable, coordinators say

In a statement, the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of South Australia said that the “significantly limited” number of individuals allowed at mass get-togethers implied that running the event in 2021 would not be reasonable.

“SA Health advised that a daily cap on attendance to the Royal Show would be less than 10,000 people,” the statement read.

“As you would appreciate, this figure is not feasible therefore the 2021 Royal Show cannot proceed.”

Coordinators said it was with “great sadness” that they needed to cancel once more.

“In the Society’s 182-year history there have only been five reasons for the Show not being held, namely, the Victorian Gold Rush in 1852, WWI, the 1919 Spanish Flu pandemic, WWII, and now the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” they said.

“As you can appreciate, unraveling Show preparations this close to the scheduled opening of the event is a significant undertaking.

“The RA&HS cordially asks that all involved in the Show be patient whilst the Society administration methodically works this through.”

The Royal Adelaide Show is the state’s biggest event, and typically attracts an excess of 50,000 individuals every day, as well as “up to 10,000” individuals working or competing daily.

The general public said in a typical year, the event offered more than $170 million in worth toward the South Australian economy.

SA’s Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said SA Health had been “walking hand-in-hand” with the Show Society to examine approaches to lead the event securely.

“Two, three months ago, of course, we didn’t have the outbreak in New South Wales, we hadn’t had the Modbury cluster,” she said.

“Unfortunately, with the pandemic, things can change — it’s very unpredictable.

“Suffice to say, I personally feel really disappointed — it’s an iconic activity here in South Australia.”

South Australia recorded no new COVID-19 cases on Thursday.

According to the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of SA’s media release, the Show attracts on average half a million guests every year and offers more than $170 million to the state’s economy.

The present declaration follows comparable decisions interstate to cancel the Royal Melbourne Show and the Queensland EKKA.

Ticket holders can get a full refund from where they bought a ticket.

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