Current Issue #488

Adelaide Cabaret Festival cancels 20th anniversary program

Thelma Plum

Adelaide Cabaret Festival has joined the wave of cancellations as COVID-19 precautions put a pin in arts festivals around the world.

With its full program due to land later this month, Adelaide Festival Centre has confirmed today the unsurprising news that as government restrictions on mass public gatherings look set to last at least six months, the June festival won’t be going ahead.

“This year was to be the 20th anniversary of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival,” artistic director Julia Zemiro said in a statement. “In my final year as Artistic Director I could not have been more thrilled to be at the helm of this celebration. Sadly, it can’t be.”

“This is truly one of those moments for me where you realise how you take things for granted: Like putting on a show, inviting people along and raising a glass.”

“We hope this long-loved winter festival will welcome back audiences with open arms, live music and an opportunity to reconnect in person in 2021,”  Adelaide Festival Centre CEO Douglas Gautier said.

The 2020 festival’s centrepiece, Six The Musical, announced its postponement last week. The 2020 festival was also due to include Deadly Hearts, a celebration of First Nations artists headlined by Baker Boy and Thelma Plum, who a week ago told fans that she had tested positive for COVID-19.

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G’day 👩🏽‍🔬 I just wanna let everyone know that unfortunately yesterday morning I was informed my test for Covid-19 came back positive. I am currently being managed by the Brisbane Metro North Public Health Unit and they’re taking very good care of me. At this time the Dr wants to keep me here until at least Friday, but the rules around being released are constantly changing. Tbh I don’t even really know where to begin, what a wild ride this last month has been for the world. All I can do is stress how important it is to be kind and compassionate to each other during this time & that we need to be looking out for & prioritising the most vulnerable people. This means skip that party, bar, restaurant or show you really want to go to & practice social distancing. I cannot stress enough how much this virus has the potential to severely harm our communities (particularly our Indigenous communities). We need to know that the public health system is going to care for our communities. If you’re feeling anxious or concerned you could contact your local Aboriginal Medical Service for initial advice. Alternatively you could contact the Coronavirus Health Information Line which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week on PH: 1800 020 080. Looking after your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak is key so be sure to link up with places such as Beyond Blue by phone or webchat on 1300 22 4636. The lack of action taken by the government has left me feeling quite anxious and hopeless, as it has many other people. Schools need to be shut down but there needs to be structures in place that can ensure low income families and vulnerable people aren’t being left in the dark. People need to work from home and if they aren’t able to the government needs to step in & financially help. Putting a temporary moratorium on things like rent, bills & mortgages could be a great start. I also want to thank the incredible staff here, the nurses, doctors, the nice man Steve who comes in to change the bins.  To say they’ve gone above and beyond is an understatement. Anyway, I am doing really good feeling good and being monitored by Brissi’s finest. Luv ya’s ❤️ 🙇🏽‍♀️

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Last week Adelaide Festival Centre confirmed its immediate closure and suspension of its entire program until the end of April, a measure that is likely to be substantially extended in the coming days.

Walter Marsh

Walter Marsh

Digital Editor
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Walter is a writer and editor living on Kaurna Country.

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