Cancellation of Four Winds 2020 Easter Festival

With sadness and regret we have decided not to go ahead with the 2020 Easter Festival in Bermagui because of COVID-19 which was categorised as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation on 11 March.

Our primary concern is public safety. We are particularly concerned about the risks to:

  • the many people who make up our loyal audience
  • our inspiring musicians who travel to Four Winds from around Australia and from overseas
  • our wonderful staff and volunteers who do so much to make the Festival a success
  • our supportive local community

On Friday 13th March the Federal Government issued advice against non-essential gatherings of 500 people or more and many events around the world are being cancelled for fear that the virus will be easily transmitted among large crowds.

Given the public health advice, we have come to the decision that the risks are too high for Four Winds 2020 Easter Festival to go ahead. We cannot justify holding an event that might put people who travel to the Festival as well as those who live in the area at risk.

We are acutely aware that the Easter Festival not going ahead will be another body-blow to local businesses as well as to the many free-lance musicians and contractors involved in the Festival. Many local businesses provide services, accommodation, food and hospitality to our audience members and musicians. Typically, the Four Winds audience spends up to $1 million in Bermagui so loss of this economic boost, on top of the catastrophic financial impact of the bush-fires will contribute to the ongoing challenges local businesses are facing.

However, we are confident that this is the right decision for the health and wellbeing of all involved in the Festival, even though it will certainly have a significant negative financial impact on Four Winds. We are estimating this to be in the region of $130,000, which equates to loss of box office income and costs incurred to date.

Some good news!

The majority of artists booked for the 2020 Easter Festival have told us that they are willing to come and perform at Easter 2021. Therefore, we are postponing the 2020 artistic program and it will be presented in 2021 – when we will celebrate our 21st Festival.

Four Winds always presents a free concert for the community as our first major Festival event. This year the content of that performance is inspired by the traditional Indigenous stories of the region, as a response to Captain Cook’s sighting of the East Coast of Australia, 250 years ago. That performance will now take place on Friday 13 November 2020 at the opening of the 2020 Spring Youth Festival in November and forms part of the National Museum of Australia’s Cultural Connections Program.

What next?

Four Winds will be contacting all our ticket holders by email with options regarding Festival tickets which have already been purchased.

We have a special phone number to call regarding Four Winds 2020: 0409 052 980

Thank you for understanding.

On behalf of everyone affected, you can imagine how disappointed we are not to go ahead with the 2020 Easter Festival, but for the health and wellbeing of all concerned and to comply with Government guidelines we feel we have no alternative. Because of the amazing support Four Winds has from our entire community, we are confident that we will be able to put the challenges of 2020 behind us and continue to offer you marvellous music next year and in the years ahead.

Keep safe and well

Michael Darling | Chair
David Francis | Executive Director