Today, Townsville City Council announced that NAFA (North Australia Festival of Arts) and Fringe Festival will be postponed until further notice due to COVID-19. This decision comes after The Federal Governments advice on non-essential gatherings during this time. Mayor Jenny Hill said, the real issue is we don’t know what things will look like tomorrow, let alone in four weeks, so to say when we can continue these events is still up in the air. Rather than cancelling the event altogether, Council has decided to postpone it, in hopes that as soon as numbers of infections reduce, and restrictions are taken away they can proceed with booking these events and artists and put them back on the city event calendar. “NAFA is a big part of our events calendar, which brought in 4.1 million last year as far as economic impact and we saw an increase of 8.6 percent increase in accommodation in hotels and other places. So, we are trying to bring back normality as much and as soon as possible, which is why we are postponing instead of cancelling it,” Cr. Jenny Hill explained.
If you are looking for things to do because of all the event postponements, Hill said we still have beautiful parks, beaches and walks you can go on as well as Magnetic Island which is still open. In the meantime, the mayor seemed hopeful that despite everything, and despite the restrictions, Townsville’s confirmed cases are still really low, and she urges us to stay calm as we are still operating pretty normally compared to other cities and states, and to enjoy things we still can do.