Current Issue #488

COVID-19 forces cancellation of 2020 Royal Adelaide Show


The Royal Adelaide Show has become the latest high profile event to be canned due to COVID-19 precautions, as Scott Morrison warns the public that Australia still has a “long way to go”.

Today organisers confirmed that the 2020 Royal Adelaide Show, due to hit Wayville from 4 – 13 September, would not go ahead.

“Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the current restrictions in place for public gatherings, along with the uncertainty of any timeline around lifting restrictions, it makes it unworkable to hold a large event such as the Show in 2020,” organisers said in a statement.

The news follows the cancellation of the 2020 Sydney Royal Easter Show, originally set to conclude today, and the Royal Queensland Show, slated for August.

The September date of the Royal Adelaide Show is one of the clearest examples yet of the potentially long tail of the current raft of COVID-19 restrictions in Australia. Over the weekend Prime Minister Scott Morrison reiterated that despite promising early indications that social distancing measures are beginning to take effect, we should expect the virus – and the efforts to mitigate its impact – to be a part of Australian life for at least six months.

With the show encompassing an ark-load of animals and legions of stallholders – not to mention a whole lot of plastic showbag filler – the long lead time required to put on the event means that even if restrictions are lifted by September, the necessary groundwork would have to be laid much earlier – an impossibility in the current climate.

In its long history the Royal Adelaide Show has only been cancelled a handful of times, including the 1852 Victorian gold rush, which plunged South Australia into an economic crisis as workers flocked across the border, the First and Second World Wars, and the 1919 Spanish Flu pandemic. All of which certainly drive home the significance of the moment we’re currently living through.

One small silver lining: with every self-isolated man and their dog turning to baking in an effort to ward off cabin fever, one imagines the 2021 cookery competition will also be one for the history books.

As of Monday 13 April there have been a total of 431 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in South Australia, with two new cases reported on Monday. Of that tally, 240 have officially been cleared of the virus. Readers are advised to consult SA Health’s website for the latest information.

Read the full statement from the Royal Adelaide Show

Walter Marsh

Walter Marsh

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

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