The closing event of its annual LGBTIQ+ Queer Arts and Cultural Festival, Feast Festival’s Picnic in the Park, scheduled for Sunday 29 November, has been cancelled due to Government restrictions implemented since the recent COVID-19 cluster outbreak in South Australia.
Picnic in the Park is one of the LGBTIQ+ and allied communities most celebrated events of the year and cancelling the event marks a significant loss on the South Australian events and tourism calendar.
“The COVID resurgence in SA is devastating news. Picnic in the Park is the final event for Feast Festival attracting over 3,500 people and connecting LGBTIQ+ and allied communities in a vibrant celebration of inclusivity and diversity,” said Feast CEO Helen Sheldon.
Picnic in the Park represents the opportunity for everyone to come together and celebrate diversity and inclusivity. The connection and sense of community the event provides is a devastating blow to the LGBTIQ+ communities and means Picnic in the Park won’t return until 2021.
Picnic in the Park is a family friendly event situated in Pinky Flat/Tarntanya Wama against the picturesque backdrop of the river Torrens/Karrawirra Parri – Picnic has something for everyone – market stalls, tasty food and bars and features the now INFAMOUS Dog Show, Drag Queen Fashion Parade and Tug of War.
“As distressing as this decision has been, we understand that this is the right course of action to ensure the health and safety of everyone” said Ms Sheldon.
Current restrictions for pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants are capped at 100 people with a 1 person per 4 square metre rule with no vertical alcohol consumption (even in outdoor areas).
“We are working with our artists, event organisers and venues who still have registered events in the Festival program that meet the current restrictions, however the final decision to cancel or continue to present the event will be at the discretion of the event organiser and venue,” said Ms Sheldon.
Feast was the first multi-arts Festival to take place since the pandemic. 41 events have already taken place since the program launched on Thursday 8 October with a further 18 events mid-way through their season or art exhibition and over 45 events are yet to present their event. The Festival has over 100 registered events in the 2020 program.
The remaining events are endeavouring to move forward under COVID safe practices (with the exemption of Picnic in the Park), however ticket holders are encouraged to check the Feast Festival website for the most up to date information regarding those events as some: will proceed within COVID restrictions; may move to an online format; may be postponed; or may require to be cancelled.
“Every precaution is being taken by artists and venues to ensure they operate in a COVID safe way. There are still two weeks left in which to celebrate Feast Festival, Pridevember and support all the artists, organisations and community members that are participating,” said Ms Sheldon.
Feast will be contacting anyone who has purchased a ticket to Picnic in the Park either to refund their purchase or to offer them the opportunity to turn their ticket purchase into a much-needed donation towards Feast LGBTIQ+ Queer Arts & Cultural Festival.
For more information about changes to Feast Festival events and tickets due to COVID, visit: www.feast.org.au for details.
Image: Drag Fashion Show at Feast Festival’s Picnic in the Park – photo by Photo Jo