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The 2021 Royal Melbourne Show has been cancelled due to the ongoing uncertainty and operational constraints, challenges and risks associated with holding major events with large free roaming crowds during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2021 Royal Melbourne Show was scheduled to be held over 11 days from Thursday 23 September to Sunday 3 October at Melbourne Showgrounds.

The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) President, Matt Coleman said: “The Royal Melbourne Show is a much-loved major Victorian event that is a unique and valuable platform to promote and celebrate excellence in agriculture, with thousands of agricultural producers from rural and regional Victoria coming together at Melbourne Showgrounds.”

”Whilst the RASV Board is disappointed to make the decision to cancel the 2021 Royal Melbourne Show, we felt it important for all those planning to be involved in the event including exhibitors, competitors, judges, stewards, sponsors and volunteers that they have certainty so they can make informed decisions in relation to their own arrangements,” Mr Coleman concluded.

The Royal Melbourne Show is Victoria’s largest and most iconic annual community event, attracting 450,000 visitors over 11 days each year and contributing more than $244 million in value to the State of Victoria’s economy annually.

The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria Chief Executive Officer, Brad Jenkins, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause significant disruption in planning and delivering major events. Due to the operational constraints, challenges and risks in holding major events during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly those with large free roaming crowds, the 2021 Royal Melbourne Show has been cancelled.

“It’s deeply disappointing that the Victorian community will not be able to come together with family and friends to enjoy the fun, discovery and excitement of the Royal Melbourne Show for the second consecutive year.”

“We are incredibly fortunate to have a passionate and supportive community who look forward to attending or being involved in the Royal Melbourne Show. These include our loyal volunteers, staff, members, sponsors and exhibitors along with thousands of competitors striving to win a coveted Melbourne Royal blue ribbon. We understand the cancellation of the 2021 Royal Melbourne Show will come as very disappointing news. I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to everyone involved in the Royal Melbourne Show for their understanding and support during these challenging times.”

“Despite not holding the 2021 Royal Melbourne Show, the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria is exploring and developing new initiatives and opportunities to celebrate food and agricultural producers, rural and regional Victoria and our talented creative industries,” Mr Jenkins concluded.

The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria will continue to play a valuable role for the Victorian community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by providing Melbourne Showgrounds as one of the State’s best venues for COVID testing and vaccinations.

The Royal Melbourne Show has been the signature event for Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, since the organisation was first formed in 1848. It has only been called off on two occasions prior to 2020. First, when Melbourne Showgrounds was requisitioned for the war effort in 1915 and again during WWII between 1940-1945.

The first Royal Melbourne Show after WWII attracted record attendance and the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria looks forward to history repeating itself in 2022 when the Royal Melbourne Show returns bigger and better.

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