Sydney's hugely popular annual festival of lights, performance and ideas, Vivid, has been cancelled, following the government's announcement on March 13 that all non-essential gatherings of 500 people or more are prohibited until the COVID-19 pandemic is resolved.
In a Facebook post, published on the morning of Sunday, March 15, the organisers announced the decision to cancel the festival, which has been one of Sydney's most highly attended cultural events and major tourism drivers since it launched in 2009.
In a second post, Vivid Sydney added:
"Vivid Sydney is a bright star on Sydney’s event calendar so the decision to cancel was not taken lightly. Vivid Sydney must follow the advice of health officials to ensure the health and safety of attendees and everyone involved with the event. We are currently working through the implications of the decision and will provide further information and advice as soon as it’s available."
This is the latest in a number of high-profile cancellations to have rocked Australia's arts and culture sector in recent days. On Friday, March 13, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival – the world's second largest comedy fest after Toronto's – announced its cancellation, and in Sydney, the Other Art Fair was also postponed.