Organisers may consider changing date or cancelling 2021 Parkes Elvis Festival as they monitor COVID-19 situation

POPULAR: Scenes from the 2020 Parkes Elvis Festival in January.
POPULAR: Scenes from the 2020 Parkes Elvis Festival in January.

With just over five months to go until the Parkes Elvis Festival, organisers are still hopeful the 2021 event will go ahead given the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

But they are evaluating whether to move the festival to another date or cancel it altogether.

Organisers have also rescheduled a number of important dates linked to the event.

In a statement released on Friday afternoon to update the public on the festival's planning, Parkes Shire Mayor Ken Keith OAM said they do not want to prematurely cancel the event that in the past has generated more than $13 million for the local economy and attracted a record of 27,000 visitors.

The 2021 festival is scheduled to take place from January 6-10 with the theme of Elvis' 1968 movie Speedway.

"The health and safety of the community will come first in the decision of the 2021 festival proceeding," the mayor said.

"However, with just over five months to go we are still hopeful that the 2021 festival will proceed as planned and do not want to be premature in cancelling an event that has such a positive impact on the region."

Supporting the mayor, festival director Cathy Treasure said they are looking at all options.

"We don't have a crystal ball, so we are looking into all possible options and closely monitoring the situation," she said.

"The safety and well-being of our community, artists, fans, staff and businesses is foremost in our planning, and we are evaluating moving the festival to another date or cancelling it altogether."

Ms Treasure said the festival team have been contingency planning and monitoring the situation since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"As you can probably imagine, a festival of this size takes year-round planning, therefore we are continuing to work behind the scenes," she said.

"This way we can make sure that if we get the green light from NSW Health, we have everything in place to host a safe and fun festival for everyone."

The festival team have rescheduled the ticket launch usually held in the second week of September.

The launch has been delayed from September 7 to October 19.

Ms Treasure said no sales will be made before they are 100 per cent sure they are safe to proceed.

"The decision to move the festival to a later date will be made by August 31," she said.

THEME: The 2021 festival is scheduled to take place from January 6-10 with the theme of Elvis' 1968 movie Speedway. Pictured is Parkes woman Elissa Gillingham with Elvis Tribute Artist Anthony Petrucci in front an Mk1 Ford GT40 belonging to Parkes man Dusty Powter.

THEME: The 2021 festival is scheduled to take place from January 6-10 with the theme of Elvis' 1968 movie Speedway. Pictured is Parkes woman Elissa Gillingham with Elvis Tribute Artist Anthony Petrucci in front an Mk1 Ford GT40 belonging to Parkes man Dusty Powter.

Community and business consultations will take place in September to ensure that the final decision is in line with community expectations.

And Ms Treasure said the final decision to proceed with the festival will be made by September 28.

"For now, the most important thing we can all do is keep looking after ourselves and in turn others, take advice from the experts and continue to plan for 2021 and future years," Cr Keith said.

As COVID-19 is continually evolving, the festival team will keep the community and fans updated.

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This story Time will tell: Organisers may consider changing date or cancelling Elvis Festival first appeared on Parkes Champion-Post.