CALLED OFF: The Jumpers & Jazz in July Festival has been cancelled for this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Trevor Martin.
CALLED OFF: The Jumpers & Jazz in July Festival has been cancelled for this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: Trevor Martin.

Jumpers & Jazz festival put on ice for 2020

THIS year’s Jumpers & Jazz in July festival has been cancelled, due to the government-mandated restrictions and economic instability caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The event’s management committee made the announcement this morning via social media, citing the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus outbreak made it too risky to continue their preparations as planned.

Bette Bonney, the festival’s media and marketing co-ordinator, said every individual, local business, and member of the community involved in the Jumpers & Jazz in July event were “terribly disappointed” at its cancellation.

“It is devastating, because we’ve already put in so much work, which of course starts in the previous year with having to apply for funding and start to get all the individual events off the ground,” Mrs Bonney said.

“Apart from all the restrictions and everything else, the other reason we wanted to make the decision now is to avoid putting in all this work that would go to waste. As much as we love preparing for the event every year, there’s so many in the community who put in so much work, that it just wouldn’t be fair on them.”

The Warwick Art Gallery’s director Karina Devine also released a statement expressing support for the management committee’s decision, as the Gallery organises the event’s Tree Jumpers competition and the Yarntopians Front Room installation.

“The decision was the most difficult that the festival team has had to make in our 16 year history. The pandemic and our government’s response to protect us, is not a short-term issue,” Ms Devine said.

“Our main motivation to support this decision is an understanding that the creation of artworks for the festival is predominately collaborative. With the commencement of strict self-isolation recommendations, the joy of collaborating and socialising whilst making something beautiful for our festival has been quashed.”

Ms Bonney agreed that the sense of community spirit would be one of the biggest losses from the festival’s cancellation, outside of the millions of dollars of tourism revenue it brings into the Southern Downs region.

“I know a lot of businesses now anticipate that (revenue) as a big injection to their business, so we’re certainly disappointed on their behalf,” Ms Bonney said.

“We appreciate the fact that there have been people in the community already putting time and effort towards this festival, and we’re very appreciative of the way the community gets behind it. We apologise that it’s not going to happen this year, but we certainly encourage them to be right on board with us heading into 2021.”



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