At time of writing, the extent of the impact of COVID-19 on Australia and our local community is only just being felt.
Already numerous local gatherings, even before the indoor limit had been reduced to 100, have been canceled – including the April talk of the Kiama & District Historical Society, an open home by the Gerringong & District Historical Society, Gerringong’s Captain Christie Ocean Swim and the March networking meeting of the Kiama & District Business Chamber.
Wings over Illawarra has been postponed until November, and ANZAC Day ceremonies have been cancelled nationally.
Kiama’s KISS Arts Festival and Gerringong’s SurfLife Music Festival are also amongst the casualties.
Scheduled for the 25-26 April, KISS Arts has grown to be Kiama’s biggest festival.
It was created by Dave Evans and Tamara Campbell to bring the spirit of the European arts festivals they regularly perform at to their home town.
Festivals are the rainmakers for tourism, creating demand for accommodation, eateries, night time venues and shops.
Their impact was seen in town by the recent Kiama Jazz & Blues Festival and the Kiama Sevens.
Normally, marketing for KISS would be in full swing, to attract people to town for the weekend.
As a performer himself, Dave has already had five other gigs canceled.
“At the moment I have no work until the end of May, and even that is unlikely to go ahead.
“In the grand scheme of things, our industry is way down the pecking order in terms of getting support from the government, despite it generating $30 billion each year.
“While the ban on public gatherings is a necessary measure, the flow on effect to the other businesses that rely on events to generate business for them will be immense.”
The Bugle is suspending its What’s On page until the situation resolves itself.