Due to the current South East Queensland lockdown and worsening local COVID-19 outbreak, the 2021 Royal Queensland Show (Ekka) has been cancelled in the best interests of public health.
It is the second year in a row that the Ekka has been cancelled due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2021 Show was due to open to the public this Saturday and it will be the fourth time in the Ekka’s 145-year history that the show has been cancelled.
Ensuring the health and safety of the Ekka community and the general public was paramount and the RNA was fully supportive of the Queensland Government’s decision.
It is devastating to have to cancel this year’s historic comeback Ekka but the current outbreak of COVID-19 means we cannot bring the country and city together safely.
It is particularly heartbreaking to have to cancel so close to our opening day because of the massive effort our Ekka community has put into preparing for this year’s People’s Show.
Thousands of exhibitors who have spent months preparing their entries for competition will be extremely disappointed they cannot showcase their efforts at the 2021 Show.
It is especially tough for the farming community who have been eagerly awaiting this year’s Show which is a celebration of all things agriculture.
The Ekka doesn’t just reward the best of the best it also provides much needed respite and highlights the many challenges they face such as drought and flood.
Our hearts also go out to the hundreds of businesses whose livelihoods rely on events like the Ekka. The ride operators, the food vendors and the many small businesses who showcase their products at Queensland’s largest marketplace – they are facing another financial blow in the wake of the Show’s cancellation.
This last minute cancellation of the Show has broad-ranging financial impacts for our not for profit organisation because we also rely on the Ekka to provide a major part of our revenue.
Despite all the disappointment the cancellation of the Ekka brings the RNA will always act in the best interests of public health and protect our exhibitors and the broader community.
The RNA will now endeavour to see if some of the 2021 Royal Queensland Show competitions can continue these next two weeks in a COVID-Safe environment without the general public.
RNA will also be working with Queensland Health on a de-mobilisation plan to assist exhibitors with bumping out and what is possible during the lockdown.
The RNA will be issuing full refunds to all ticket holders, with more information to be sent directly.
A special message from the Governor of Queensland
The Queensland Governor and RNA Patron, His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC CVO, has released a special message of support, acknowledging everyone who works so hard to preserve the magic and traditions of the Royal Queensland Show, despite the challenges of COVID-19.