It’s been a difficult couple of weeks for us at Spanton Media Group. When we started planning for a return to Sydney Bar Week in 2021, we didn’t envisage that we would be in this position. But thanks to the Delta variant things are worse now than during the 2020 lockdown.
So we are gutted to announce that we are cancelling the Sydney Bar Week face-to-face event line-up for 2021. It’s devastating news for to make this decision for a second year running. We will still host the Bartender Magazine Bar Awards in a digital format on Tuesday, 21 September.
We are gutted to announce that we are cancelling the Sydney Bar Week face-to-face event line-up for 2021. It’s devastating news for to make this decision for a second year running. We will still host the Bartender Magazine Bar Awards in a digital format on Tuesday, 21 September.
David Spanton, Sydney Bar Week founder says: “We know how excited that the industry was to get together in person and have a great Sydney Bar Week this year and we are really sad that this is the news we are sharing today.”
Sydney Bar Week is a truly national event with more than 50% of attendees each year coming from out of Sydney so rolling border closures pose a real risk in 2021. “We looked at postponing but the risk is still too great for our bar community as a whole while we’re living in a climate of lockdowns and border closures. Any big event such as Bar Week requires 6-8 weeks of solid ticket sales and that’s not something we believe we can achieve right now,” says Spanton.
The government has been very clear that border closures and lockdowns will continue until we reach a threshold percentage of vaccinations and that will likely not be until 2022. Based on that, it is impossible for us to proceed. “By trying to postpone till later in the year, all we’re doing is flipping a coin with no real certainty of being able to pull off an event, especially when 50% of our guests are interstate,” says Spanton, adding, “there is no guarantee that October or November will see us in any better position.”
Again, unlike 2020, this year, we are fully set to run a digital Bar Awards which will be available to anyone on the Australian Bartender Magazine FaceBook page on Tuesday, 21st September. There will be more details on times and how this will work and how your bar can get involved but for now we just wanted to make sure you had all the information about the updated plans.
Unfortunately this will mean that the Bartender of the Year competition will again be postponed which is a shame as we had a record number of entries.
We will be in touch with all the Bar Awards finalists in the next week with next steps on voting and more info on the livestream.
So continue following Sydney Bar Week and Australian Bartender magazine on all our socials and right here and we’ll keep you up-to-date with all the news.