EXPLAINED: Why iconic CQ festival won’t go ahead this year
It was a hard call to make but people have been understanding about the cancellation of the 2021 Golden Mount Festival, according to committee president Kerrilyn Page.
The iconic annual event, which has been running in Mount Morgan for more than 40 years, was to be held on May 1 to 3 but uncertainty around COVID forced the committee’s hand.
The members made the decision this week, the snap three-day lockdown in Brisbane last weekend cementing it.
Ms Page said while it was very disappointing, an early call was the most prudent course of action.
“We would have put in a lot of time and effort and spent a lot of money to organise the festival and people make extensive travel plans because they come from all over for it,” she said.
“In the scheme of things, May is not very far away and we can’t see there being any rapid change to the situation so we’d hate to do it all and have it shut down at the last minute.
“It’s devastating for us to have to cancel it and for the second year in a row, but it also means that hopefully in 2022, we can come back bigger and better.”
Ms Page said the main consideration was that festival events were held at multiple locations where the number of patrons coming in and out could not be controlled.
The program includes a street procession, markets, a gold dig and the signature event, Running the Cutter.
“When it comes to organising a COVID safe event, you need to be able to get all contact tracing details,” she said.
“That was just impossible because the locations don’t lend themselves to be able to do that and given most of the events are free and not ticketed.
“That meant we would have had to change the structure of the festival too much and I think that would have caused more upset than actually cancelling it – putting on a festival that was so very different to what people expect.”
Ms Page said the response to the cancellation had been “99.9 per cent supportive”.
The committee does plan to run a series of smaller community events this year.
“We’ve put together a schedule of things we’d like to do throughout the year, and that will help us fundraise for 2022,” Ms Page said.
“It will also make certain the community members have still got things where they can engage and see each other and still get out but in a safer environment.”