Ticket sales up for Geraldton’s Shore Leave festival, set to proceed as planned

Phoebe PinGeraldton Guardian
Tourism Geraldton Mid West chair Matt Rutter.
Camera IconTourism Geraldton Mid West chair Matt Rutter. Credit: Liam Beatty/Geraldton Guardian

Ticket sales for several Shore Leave events have spiked in the last week, with organisers confident the presence of COVID in the community will not deter locals and tourists from attending next month’s festival.

The events industry was thrown into turmoil after Level 2 COVID restrictions were introduced on March 3, forcing the postponement or cancellation of many sporting and entertainment highlights.

Premier Mark McGowan has since indicated WA could transition to Level 1 rules by the end of the month. However, even if tough capacity limits and the 2sqm rule are extended, Tourism Geraldton Midwest chair Matt Rutter said Shore Leave would proceed as planned.

The Abrolhos Long Table Lunch will return in 2022.
Camera IconThe Abrolhos Long Table Lunch will return in 2022. Credit: West Beach Studio/RegionalHUB

“Shore Leave is not just one big event, it is a whole heap of individual events across four days, so we can quite easily control each of those events,” he said.

“We did a full risk review of each of those individual events on the program, just so we were confident that we could keep our patrons safe and still deliver an enjoyable experience. Through that process we confirmed that we could do that, so now it is full steam ahead.”

It is understood the majority of ticketed events are expected to fall within the 500 patrons capacity limit under the Level 2 guidelines, with the Abrolhos Long Table Lunch having its own COVID safety plan.

Mr Rutter said tickets to this event have almost sold out, a strong indication that the Mid West’s growing COVID caseload has not made people hesitant to attend the festival.

“Obviously it is a different environment this year compared to last year in terms of COVID in the community. But the community is getting a lot more comfortable living with COVID, so I don’t think it is going to impact on the event that significantly in terms of patron numbers,” he said.

“I am hoping the town will be heaving again, exactly the same as last year. We will all just have to social distance and make sure we keep everyone safe while we are having a good time.”

The foreshore setting for the Mid West Paddock to Plate dinner.
Camera IconThe foreshore setting for the Mid West Paddock to Plate dinner. Credit: Shore Leave

Mr Rutter said more details about free and ticketed activities will be available in the coming weeks.

According to State Government guidelines, proof of COVID vaccination is required for all Shore Leave events.

The festival will run from April 27 to May 1.

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