Melbourne Podcast Festival forced to cancel inaugural event
COVID-19 has claimed another casualty on the events calendar, with the Melbourne Podcast Festival being the latest event to cancel due to the pandemic.
Held in partnership with Frontier Touring, Mushroom Group, Acast and Schwartz Media, the inaugural festival was originally slated to begin on Friday, July 31 but was then postponed to September when Melbourne entered its fifth lockdown.
Organisers have now confirmed that the event will not go ahead as planned in 2021, citing capacity limits, travel restrictions and other state-mandated health measures.
Courtney Carthy, curator and creative director for the festival, said that the circulation of the Delta strain made it impossible for organisers to guarantee a safe event.
“It’s not ideal but we wanted to give everyone certainty about the Festival this year. The Delta strain has brought a new level of unpredictability and with some shows coming from states other than Victoria we couldn’t guarantee fans that it would all go ahead,” Carthy said.
“Over the past months, we have worked with the incredible local podcasting community and fans to create a new event that celebrates the unique medium in a fitting way. The enthusiasm for a live podcast festival was immediately felt in the willingness of shows to participate and listeners to purchase tickets.
“The program includes some of Australia’s best shows across a range of genres representing the ecosystem here in Australia, along with the support from Acast, Schwartz Media and the public.”
Despite the cancellation, Carthy said that the Melbourne Podcast Festival would likely return next year, noting his excitement for the event to finally go ahead.
“It’s safe to say that when the climate is a little more stable, the Melbourne Podcast Festival will return for its inaugural year, and we can’t wait to unveil those details as they are solidified.”
Melbourne Podcast Festival ticketholders will receive an automatic refund for their purchases within coming days.