Firelight Festival cancelled

Firelight Festival cancelled

By Meg Hill

The City of Melbourne announced its decision to cancel the 2020 Firelight Festival to protect public health on April 17.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp said it was disappointing to cancel the festival, but the City of Melbourne had to continue to take all necessary measures to protect the health of the community as a priority.

“While the Firelight Festival is still two months away, it’s not clear when restrictions on large gatherings will be lifted,” the Lord Mayor said.

“We’ve taken the difficult decision to cancel this year’s event. We know many Docklands businesses are doing it tough, so when restrictions are lifted, we will work with businesses and precinct leaders to drive visitation to the Docklands area.”

The 2020 Firelight Festival was planned for June 26 to 28. Last year’s festival attracted more than 75,000 people to the Docklands precinct and had an estimated $4 million economic impact on the municipality.

Docklands Chamber of Commerce (DCC) president Johanna Maxwell told Docklands News the 2020 plans could be recreated for 2021.

“The Docklands Chamber of Commerce, along with our members, are disappointed that Firelight 2020 has been cancelled and we look forward to welcoming this event back in 2021,” she said.

“In the meantime, the Docklands Chamber of Commerce are working on a strategy to bring Docklands to life as and when social distancing restrictions are eased.”

“We continue to support our business community through this time with social media, updates and support through the assistance packages and grants available from Federal Government, State Government and the City of Melbourne.” 

“Our aims for a relaunch will be focused on delivering a positive plan for members of the Docklands Chamber of Commerce. We will keep our members and the community informed as these plans finalise.”

Chair of Council’s Prosperous City portfolio Cr Kevin Louey said the City of Melbourne was committed to supporting businesses impacted by the necessary social distancing restrictions.

“When restrictions are lifted, we will work with businesses and precinct leaders to drive visitation to the Docklands area,” Cr Louey said.

“We’re still aiming to deliver the event in 2021. In the meantime, we’ve announced a range of initiatives to support local business affected by the COVID-19 virus.”

The City of Melbourne is also investigating additional support for Melbourne events to be held once restrictions are lifted •

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