Agfest Field Days
Posted on 18 March, 2020
The Rural Youth Organisation of Tasmania has cancelled Agfest 2020 – the first time in the event’s 37-year history – in the best interests of the community’s health and safety.
After much careful deliberation weighing up the latest advice from health officials and the Tasmanian and Australian Government regarding containment measures for COVID-19 and the staging of public events, Rural Youth and the Agfest Committee have unanimously agreed that this year’s event will not proceed.
All exhibitors, sponsors, contractors, community organisations, ticket holders, emergency services, the local Council, industry groups and others associated with the delivery of the three-day event scheduled for May 7-9 have been informed of the decision this morning.
More than 60,000 people and 700 exhibitors were expected to attend the event, which injects well in excess of $20 million into the Tasmanian economy each year.
Rural Youth State President Jake Williams said this was a heartbreaking moment for more than 200 passionate and dedicated Tasmanian Rural Youth volunteers who give their all and more to organising the Agfest field days, which are ranked in the top three in Australia.
“We sincerely thank all individuals and companies associated with our upcoming event for their patience and understanding as we worked through a comprehensive process to make the best possible decision about Agfest 2020,” Mr Williams said. “This has possibly been the biggest decision made since the organisation was founded 70 years ago, and one that has not been taken lightly.
“The financial impact on our exhibitors and the Tasmanian economy, as well as the Rural Youth organisation, will be huge. However, our absolute priority is ensuring the health and wellbeing of all internal and external stakeholders, as well as the wider Tasmanian community, as we face unprecedented challenges due to the rapid global spread of COVID-19.”
Agfest Committee Chairman Ethan Williams congratulated all Rural Youth members and staff for the incredible job they have done to prepare for this year’s Agfest.
“We are a resilient bunch of young people and we will be back bigger and better than ever from May 6-8 in 2021,” he said.
“This is a time for leadership, innovation and thinking outside the square, which is exactly what our young members will embrace as we work through the logistics of cancelling Agfest 2020 and focusing on Agfest 2021.”
Despite all exhibitors signing a Terms and Conditions Exhibitor Contract that states in the event of the Committee finding it necessary or expedient to cancel or postpone Agfest, “no refund of any monies paid will be made to exhibitors”, the organisation has pledged to immediately refund 85 per cent of total invoice, including those who have cancelled since March 10, 2020.
Exhibitors and sponsors can apply for a refund via their online exhibitor application dashboard. The link to access this is available via the Agfest website www.agfest.com.au
Mr Jake Williams said Rural Youth was working positively and proactively with the Agfest Committee to facilitate alternate opportunities for exhibitors to market their Agfest specials and rural goods.
He said Rural Youth would continue to work closely with the State Government regarding any potential support measures as the fallout from this decision was realised.
“We also send our very best wishes to all people involved in Tasmania’s agricultural sector as our dependence on our farmers for food and fibre is expected to escalate as we collaborate in the fight against this coronavirus.”