Several pride festivals are among numerous Australian LGBTIQ events postponed by organisers due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Federal Government has ordered the cancellation of non-essential mass gatherings of over 500 people to limit the spread of COVID-19.
This has led to widespread cancellations of community and cultural events across the country, and overseas.
On Tuesday, the Bendigo Pride Festival in Victoria announced “with a heavy heart” they are postponing events from this weekend.
“Our committee has been working around the clock to create an unforgettable experience for the Bendigo LGBTQI+ community,” organisers said.
“Although we are disappointed, this is the right decision for the safety of our community with the current COVID-19 concerns.”
Western Australia’s Busselton Pride also announced they were postponing this weekend’s Pride March and Fair Day events.
“Busselton Pride takes the health and wellbeing of its community seriously,” organisers said.
“We cannot continue with the Busselton Pride Parade and Fair Day this weekend.
“We still encourage local businesses to ‘Show Us Your Pride’ by decorating your shop fronts and entering our online contest for best Pride decorated business.”
Busselton Pride organisers said some of the festival’s smaller events would still proceed with capped tickets and safety precautions.
Organisers of Rainbows on the Plains in Hay in regional New South Wales earlier also cancelled their March 28 event.
Last weekend, organisers of Wagga Mardi Gras were also forced to cancel Saturday’s pride parade through Wagga Wagga.
Film festivals cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic
The Melbourne Queer Film Festival also announced at the weekend they were cancelling all remaining sessions due to coronavirus risk.
“We have now taken the decision to suspend the remainder of the program for this year,” organisers said.
“In the interest of broad community health and welfare as well as that of our audiences, staff and volunteers we’ve decided not to continue with this year’s festival.”
Organisers of the Geelong Pride Film Festival, originally to begin this year on April 2, also postponed the event.
“We have made this decision for the health and safety of the whole community,” they announced.
“There are a number of our GPFF family that are particularly vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19 so we know that this is the right decision.
“We will continue to bring you the best LGBTIQ+ films as soon as we can and look forward to rescheduling later this year if possible.”
In Brisbane, the Pride Business Network told QNews.com.au the group had cancelled all of their social events until further notice.
The Queensland Council for LGBTI Health (formerly the Queensland AIDS Council) told QNews.com.au on Monday many of their services would continue.
However, consult the organisation’s Facebook page for the latest updates on closures and cancellations.
ACON on Tuesday announced the postponing of the Pride in Sport Awards, originally scheduled for April 1.
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