Renowned Aussie arts festival cancelled due to COVID-19-Xinhua

Renowned Aussie arts festival cancelled due to COVID-19

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2020-03-11 12:08:54

SYDNEY, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Organisers in the Australian State of Tasmania said on Wednesday that they would be cancelling world renowned arts festival Dark Mofo for 2020 -- citing the COVID-19 outbreak posed too much risk to the event's longevity.

The event was scheduled for June and was expected to bring around 600 artists and thousands of visitors to the Tasmanian capital of Hobart to bear the cold winter together in celebration of dark and twisted creations.

The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), a gallery which hosts Dark Mofo launched in 2011, quickly became the top tourist attraction in Hobart, as well as being Australia's largest privately funded museum.

MONA founder David Walsh said in a statement that the difficult decision to cancel Dark Mofo for the year was likely to have a significant effect on the city's winter tourism market.

"We're killing Dark Mofo for the year. I know that will murder an already massacred tourism environment, but I feel like I have no choice," Walsh said.

According to Walsh, with the gallery and government both investing millions of dollars in the event, if it was to fail due to poor ticket sales or a last minute cancellation, the financial hit would be so much as to threaten the viability of future events.

"If a staff member contracted COVID-19 a week out from the festival, we'd have to cancel because the staff would need to self-isolate for two weeks, but we'd also have to pay all the artists," he said.

Walsh explained that attractions such as the gallery which are open year round, were expected to fare better in the uncertain climate, because people can visit on a whim and do not have to commit beforehand.

"At times such as these, it's predicting some way in to the future that demands caution. Whereas unlike a MONA visit, Dark asks its attendees to make decisions months in advance."

He explained that organisers were devastated and realized that by June the COVID-19 outbreak may have subsided, however he said the decision was the best one given the circumstances.


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