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Tasting Australia won’t go ahead in 2020

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The planned spring edition of Tasting Australia has been cancelled, with organisers blaming ongoing uncertainty over when restrictions on mass gatherings will lift and the fact that businesses need to focus on recovery after the COVID-19 shutdown.

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The annual South Australian food and drink festival was originally scheduled to take place over 10 days from the end of March but was postponed until October 9-18 when the pandemic crisis took hold.

However, it was announced today that the 2020 Tasting Australia won’t go ahead in October, with the event returning instead from April 30 – May 9, 2021.

Organisers said although the easing of the state’s coronavirus restrictions meant people could return to restaurants, it was still not known when the ban on larger gatherings would be lifted or when domestic and international travel would resume.

“Right now, businesses are focusing on recovery as they re-open to customers and adapt to a new way of working, through no fault of their own, to ensure the safety of the community,” Events South Australia executive director Hitaf Rasheed said in a statement.

“We want to do all we can to support these businesses through the greatest economic challenge of our time.

“In line with this, despite Tasting Australia not proceeding in 2020, we will support those businesses who wish to continue to run their events that were part of the 2020 program and use the Tasting Australia platform to shine a light on other activity.

“While Tasting Australia won’t return until 2021, I encourage all South Australians to get into the city and across the state’s regions now, to visit and support the food and beverage businesses who are at the heart of the state’s industry.”

The 2020 Tasting Australia was to have been headlined by British chef Marco Pierre White, with local chefs involved including Maggie Beer, Emma McCaskill, Karena Armstrong, Paul Baker, Adam Liston, Duncan Welgemoed and Cheong Liew.

Festival director Simon Bryant said it would take “some time” for producers and businesses to get back on their feet after the COVID-19 crisis.

“I believe that delaying Tasting Australia to 2021 will give businesses the time they need to heal and rebuild, allowing them to fully leverage and engage with the festival – and to properly prepare for and embrace all its wonderful possibilities,” Bryant said.

Tasting Australia said ticketholders will automatically receive a refund within the next two weeks for events that have been cancelled.

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