Geraldton’s Shore Leave festival rescheduled while COVID leaves events in limbo
New dates have been set for the Shore Leave festival after it was stopped from going ahead this coming weekend, while the future of other popular Geraldton events remains in doubt.
The four-day event, named as a nod to the rich maritime history and the connotations of holiday, leisure, and adventure synonymous with the region, was set to celebrate the culture, food and adventure unique to the Mid West with a multi-event program from May 6-9.
It will instead go ahead from September 24-27, organisers announced on Monday, after they cited cyclone Seroja and uncertainty around COVID-19 restrictions as affecting their ability to forge ahead as scheduled.
The festival, headed by Tourism Geraldton Mid West, has billed a unique dining experience as its headline event — a $500 a head long-table lunch on the Abrolhos Islands.
The postponement comes after the successful 15th and final Nukara Music Festival and the cancellation of March’s SummerSalt music festival with headline act John Butler.
Event organiser Zaccaria Concerts and Touring did not disclose the reason it pulled the pin, but poor advance-ticket sales are believed to have affected its viability.
The annual Sunshine Festival took a break in 2020 because of COVID-19 restrictions, but chairman Ian Fisher said no decision had yet been made if it would return this October year or in conjunction with Shore Leave.
“We’re still working out details with COVID ... We’re likely to have a meeting in June, which is probably our D-Day then,” he said.
“Things are always changing, that’s the problem.
“In the past we’ve had people coming up from Perth, and if a lockdown happens they can’t come. That includes ticket-holders, vendors and talent.
“We’ve had no speaking at all to the Shore Leave people, but that could happen in the future possibly. They could be combined but there’s no concrete plans.”
Funtavia vice-chairman Julian Canny said while organisers were keen to go ahead with the popular event series, they were “busier than ever” focusing on smaller performances which were less likely to be cancelled than a larger festival.
The City of Greater Geraldton has not yet slated its third Wind on Water festival, but council discussions have indicated money will be set aside for it in the 2021-22 budget.
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