On Friday (13 March), Prime Minister Scott Morrison advised Australians to cancel all non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people. In the hours following, the announcement saw the cancellation of a slew of Aussie events. Not to mention, Friday had already been a day of official statements declaring X, Y, and Z have been canned amid the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19.
Here is a list of all the major Australian events and places – and some international ones too – that have been affected by the coronavirus.
It goes without saying that this article will be updated as more cancellations and delays are announced.
LAST UPDATED: 12.10pm – Tuesday, 17 March
Groovin The Moo | 24 April-9 May
GTM has been cancelled for 2020.
“The Government’s recommendations together with the uncertainty of these times makes it impossible for us to push forward with GTM this year,” organisers said in a statement.
Hey Moo Crew, there is nothing that we love more than seeing you in each of our regions and we are deeply saddened that this won't be happening this year. Read more here: https://t.co/pOjuhZRdkO pic.twitter.com/StvfZ4OLIO
— Groovin the Moo (@groovinthemoo) March 17, 2020
Splendour In The Grass | 24-26 July
Splendour In The Grass has officially been rescheduled to Friday 23, Saturday 24, and Sunday 25 October 2020 at North Byron Parklands.
— SplendourintheGrass (@SITG) March 17, 2020
Met Gala | 4 May
The Met Gala, hosted by Anna Wintour, has been postponed indefinitely. This year’s exhibition theme is “About Time: Fashion and Duration”.
“Due to the unavoidable and responsible decision by the Metropolitan Museum to close its doors, About Time, and the opening night gala, will be postponed to a later date,” Wintour said in a statement.
Sydney Writers’ Festival | 27 April-3 May
The Sydney Writers’ Festival has made the “inevitable but nonetheless devastating decision” to cancel this year’s event.
“This is an unprecedented, deeply upsetting and challenging time for everyone, but the health and safety of authors, audiences, staff, publishers, volunteers and our community must come first.
“We recognise that the cancellation of this year’s Festival will have a significant impact on the literary community, and especially on writers whose work was to be featured for the first time in this program. We urge you – our audience and community – to support these authors and your local booksellers in what is sure to be a challenging year.”
Read the full statement here.
WrestleMania | 5 April
WWE’s biggest night of wrestling and all related events in Tampa Bay will not take place, organisers announced.
“WrestleMania will still stream live on Sunday, April 5 at 7.00pm ET on WWE Network and be available on pay-per view. Only essential personnel will be on the closed set at WWE’s training facility in Orlando, Florida to produce WresteMania.”
In other words, no crowds.
— WWE (@WWE) March 16, 2020
SXSW | 13-22 March
The City of Austin cancelled South by Southwest film festival for the first time in its 34 years.
World Tour Bushfire Relief Concert | 13 March
TEG Dainty pulled the plug on the World Tour Bushfire Relief Concert scheduled for Friday, 13 March at the Lakeside Stadium in Melbourne. The concert organiser made the decision after headliner Miley Cyrus said she could no longer travel to Australia “due to the recommendations of local, state, federal, and international government authorities.”
I am so disappointed to not be there, but I have to do what is right to protect the health and safety of my band and crew. I will still be making a donation to help the victims of the Australian bush fire. I’m sorry to miss everyone in Australia, but I will be back soon.
— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) March 10, 2020
World Tour Bushfire Relief Concert | 14 March
TEG Dainty also canned the Saturday concert of the World Tour Bushfire Relief series. Robbie Williams was supposed to headline the show.
Dark Mofo | 10-22 June
Quoting Henry V, Act II, Scene 6, organisers said, “Advantage is a better soldier than rashness.”
Advantage is a better soldier than rashness.
—Henry V, Act III, Scene 6
— Dark Mofo (@Dark_Mofo) March 10, 2020
Coachella | 10-12 April + 17-19 April
Coachella has been delayed until the weekend of October 9 and October 16.
— Coachella (@coachella) March 10, 2020
E3 | 9-11 June
Ginormous gaming expo E3 announced its cancellation on its website and social media channels. However, the team are considering taking the expo online. Stay tuned.
AFL | 2020 season
The AFL intends to play round one of the 2020 season as scheduled, but no spectators will be allowed in stadiums.
The NAB AFL Women’s and Toyota AFL Premiership season will continue, however no fans will be permitted to attend matches for the foreseeable future.
— AFL (@AFL) March 13, 2020
The Walt Disney Company announced the closure of Disneyland and Disneyland California Adventure Park, beginning the morning of March 14 through to the end of the month.
Its sister parks Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo Disney Sea, and Shanghai Disneyland closed in January.
Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF) | 25 March-19 April
In a huge blow to our festival scene, the 2020 Melbourne International Comedy Fest was cancelled following Morrison’s announcement.
“We’re devastated by the news and look forward to sharing a laugh with you again soon,” MICF said in a statement.
It's with a heavy heart we say, following the PM's announcement about non-essential mass gatherings, we have made the very difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Festival. We’re devastated by the news and look forward to sharing a laugh with you again soon. https://t.co/gUW7oyqkNF pic.twitter.com/E2MaH2v2So
— MelbourneComedyFest (@micomfestival) March 13, 2020
Download Festival Australia | 21 March
In the early hours of Friday morning, Download Festival cancelled the event as “we are unable to deliver a complete line-up to meet the standard that Download fans both expect and deserve.”
Just moments earlier, My Chemical Romance – who were set to play at the festival – postponed their performances in Australia and New Zealand.
“We felt this was the right decision for our fans, our band, our crew, and our families given the current global situation.”
Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix | 12-15 March
On advice from the Victorian Government’s Department of Human and Health Services, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation confirmed the immediate cancellation of Formula 1 Australia Grand Prix.
[THREAD] At 9am today the Australian Grand Prix Corporation was advised by Formula 1 of their intention to cancel all Formula 1 activity at the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.
— Australian Grand Prix #AusGP (@ausgrandprix) March 12, 2020
No Coal Zone | 14 March
Secrets Sounds postponed No Coal Zone with rescheduled dates for the show to be announced soon. Jamie xx, The Avalanches, Midnight Juggernauts, Heaps Gay & Friends, and more are on the lineup.
Ability Fest | 4 April
Dylan Alcott confirmed the news that this year’s Ability Fest was cancelled.
“In the current climate with coronavirus, we do not want to put any of our patrons in harms way,” Alcott said in a video shared on Instagram. “I’m absolutely blooded gutted because it’s my favourite day of the year. I was so looking forward to this year’s Ability Fest – to all the artists, suppliers, everybody that donated their time – I can’t thank you enough.”
VAMFF | 4-14 March
On the advice of the Australian Government, Virgin Airlines Melbourne Fashion Festival cancelled the remainder of its event on Friday.
Wine Machine has rescheduled the ACT (March 21), VIC (March 28), and WA (April 4) events. The NSW event went ahead as scheduled.
“We know you will band together in this difficult time and support each other, as Australians, it’s what we do best,” a statement read.
“Thank you for your continued support and understanding in this unprecedented and difficult time. Please be patient, kind, respectful and loving to each other, for it is at times like these that our true nature’s shine.”
Sydney Royal Easter Show | 3-14 April
The beloved family event was cancelled on Friday, following Morrison’s announcement.
“It is distressing and disappointing to cancel the Show for 2020,” organisers said. “There are many people who will be very upset by this decision, and this is the first time the Sydney Royal Easter show has been cancelled because of a public health emergency since the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1919.
“The safety and well-being of our patrons and visitors is paramount and out of precaution, and in consultation with NSW Health, The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW has decided this is the best course of action.”
Cricket | 2019/2020 season
Cricket Australia initially banned spectators from Australia’s ODI series against New Zealand. On Saturday, the series was postponed after the New Zealand government tightened its border restrictions.
“We need to get our team back to New Zealand before the restriction is imposed, meaning it will not be able to participate in the two remaining Chappell-Hadlee fixtures,” the Black Caps said.
“This development also means the three-match T20I series scheduled for New Zealand cannot proceed as the mandatory self-isolation period would also apply to the Australian squad as soon as it crossed the border into New Zealand.”
Both teams hope these series can be replayed in their entirety at a later date this year.
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) March 14, 2020
NRL | 2020 season
In a statement on Sunday, the NRL said it will “suspend attendance by members and fans at matches in Round 2 and until further notice.”
Read the full statement below.
Important information for Members and Fans ????????
— NRL (@NRL) March 15, 2020
Vivid Sydney | 22 May-13 June
Sydney’s festival of lights also cancelled its 2020 show “on the recommendations of the Australian Government and health authorities”.
“Vivid Sydney will shine brighter than ever in 2021,” a statement read.
⚠️ Unfortunately, Vivid Sydney 2020 has been cancelled on the recommendations of the Australian Government and health authorities regarding non-essential, organised gatherings of more than 500 people. #vividsydney will shine brighter than ever in 2021!
— Vivid Sydney (@VividSydney) March 14, 2020
State Library of Victoria
The State Library of Vic said it would temporarily close on Sunday night and cancel all upcoming programs.
We’ve made the difficult decision to close the Library and cancel upcoming programs from 16 March. We’re really sad to close our doors but feel this is best for the safety and wellbeing of our visitors, staff, volunteers and the broader community.
— State Library Vic (@Library_Vic) March 15, 2020
At the same time, Melbourne Museum also announced it had closed all of its public sites, including the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre and IMAX Melbourne.
.@MuseumsVictoria has made the decision to temporarily close all of its public sites, including Melbourne Museum, @Bunjilaka and @IMAX_Melbourne, as of Monday 16 March. We will update our website and social media with the latest news: https://t.co/q7sCyKxuMR pic.twitter.com/WY2sZ6Syp5
— Melbourne Museum (@melbournemuseum) March 15, 2020
National Gallery of Victoria
The NGV confirmed its closure on Sunday night, calling it a “precautionary measure.” The NGV will remain closed until April 13. Read the team’s statement here.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child | Ongoing
The producers of Cursed Child have decided to temporarily suspend performances of the two-part play until Sunday, 12 April. The suspension will then be reviewed based on the most up-to-date government advice.
“We understand cancellations are disappointing, but we want to keep the health and safety of audiences and staff members a priority,” a statement read.
“Those who purchased tickets for performances from Wednesday 18 March until Sunday 12 April will be contacted by their point of purchase and refunded.”
We are committed to the safety and peace of mind of all audiences, cast, company, and theatre staff. As such, in line with the latest advice from the Australian Federal and Victorian Governments, we must temporarily suspend performances of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. pic.twitter.com/wpER3XgcYN
— Harry Potter and the Cursed Child AUS (@CursedChildAUS) March 15, 2020
Bluesfest | 9-13 April
In a statement issued on Monday, Bluesfest Group of Companies executive chairman Peter Noble confirmed the event has been cancelled.
“We are heartbroken as we believe we were presenting one of the best ever bills of talent for you,” he said. “I was in discussions right through last week with every headliner – they ALL said they’re coming as long as nothing occurred to prevent them from doing so. That is the level of commitment that our artists have, and I am proud of that.”
Read his full statement here.
— Double J (@DoubleJRadio) March 16, 2020
Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art will temporarily close from Wednesday, 18 March.
Image: Getty Images / Zetter
Mona will temporarily close from Wednesday 18 March while the COVID-19 situation unfolds. We will continue to review our options; more info to come. Read David Walsh's statement here: https://t.co/s4lpRvXkW8
— Mona Museum (@monamuseum) March 16, 2020