6 August 2021
Just like many of you, we were surprised when the Queensland Government declared a snap lockdown on Saturday, in an effort to stop the spread of the latest Covid outbreak.
After a fun night of live bands on Friday night, the Saturday at GreazeFest kicked off with perfect weather and a dazzling turnout of cars and stylish people. The Built for Speed Art Show was full of talented creations, the unique market stalls were open, barbers and hairdressers were styling, Tiki Dylan was carving, the bands and the dancers were rockin’ and we were all getting together and making the most of the weekend, while we could.
What followed was a sudden disappointment and frustration that was felt by everyone involved at GreazeFest. We had to make some fast, on the spot decisions. We decided to keep the show rolling as long as permissible so everyone could soak up as much of GreazeFest as possible before heading home, and so our vendors had a chance to trade.
It takes some time to close-up an event. The physical structure of the GreazeFest takes three days with dozens of contractors and stakeholders to build it. To shut GreazeFest down within an afternoon was an unreasonable and impossible task. Even though we closed the event within the lockdown time, it took us two more days to clear the site and bump out and now some more weeks of admin to tie things up.
In unexpectedly closing a large-scale event mid-stream, the losses are large and swift, they can sweep through every facet of the event within hours, undoing years of work, and leaving a trail of expenses and a mountain of additional work.
As well as being hard for all our visitors who have had their plans disrupted, the lockdown has a major impact on our event crew and our market and food vendors. Covid times are tough times for small business, and the events industry is at a crisis point.
The lead up to GreazeFest 2021 has been long, with many setbacks along the way, but we kept going.
2020 saw cancelled international bands and flights and two event postponements. Then 2021 brought border closures and more last minute program changes and extra work, but we kept going.
Finally our event approval was issued, giving us the green light for the weekend. The lockdown deadline of 4pm on a Saturday was abrupt, but it was the reality we were facing.
As an event organiser of 22 years, I have experienced loss before, but never anything so public. Everyone already at the event, the traders, the artists, the drivers, the bands, and those who weren’t allowed to go to the event, all felt the sting of disappointment.
Our main goal this year was to deliver the event on the scheduled dates. Postponing or cancelling is not as simple as it sounds, and hindsight is of little use right now.
But, the sun will shine over GreazeFest again and the good times will return.
We will do what we can to recover from this situation and will do our best to keep our passionate community alive and connected.
There has been an enormous expression of love and support for me, my crew and for GreazeFest, and I thank you sincerely for all of your positive comments and support.
Your support has reinforced the strength of our community, and it’s gatherings like GreazeFest that keep us connected.
Please stay healthy and stay positive.