Theatres and performance spaces across Southeast Queensland are temporarily closing.
The move comes as gatherings of 500 people or more are suspended and fears over the highly contagious COVID-19 continue to rise.
From today onwards, all non-essential gatherings are to be ceased to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the ban last Friday, after meeting with state premiers, senior ministers and health authorities.
For the performing arts sector, the response adds to the uncertainty of the industry as many venues decide to prioritise the health of their communities over planned seasons.
While cancellations continue to rise, some casualties already include the Brisbane Comedy Festival, with events ended at the Brisbane Powerhouse, The Tivoli, The Fortitude Music Hall and Newstead Brewing Co. Other organisations who have also opted to postpone planned seasons include Gold Coast’s Home of the Arts and Brisbane Arts Theatre.
Last week, Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) cancelled their performances up until Sunday, 15 March 2020. While no further clarifications have been made, events like the anticipated premiere of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ are expected to follow suit like other musicals down south. Already, Melbourne’s ‘Billy Elliot: The Musical’, ‘Come From Away’ and ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ have been cancelled, finalised and postponed until further notice.
Other significant cultural events and venues such as CMC Rocks, the Queensland Ballet’s 60th Anniversary Gala, and the World Science Festival Queensland have also made the hit list. Such cancellations mean large losses of income to not only performers but also the producers and production teams throughout the events industry.
The ripple effect is certainly being felt by many practitioners, however, for some, such actions have seen them take advantage of the digital realm. One initiative includes Shake&Stir’s new virtual space – a unique online portal with recordings of all their in-school performances, along with extensive resources and useful special features.
Other entities like Musical Theatre International Australasia are offering limited licenses to stream amateur productions, and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra will broadcast their performance of ‘Scheherazade’ tonight, live from a closed Hamer Hall.
One thing is for certain, the threat of the virus is certainly upon the Southeast Queensland entertainment industry and its effects could be devastating.
View our list of cancellations below.
Current Cancellations across Southeast Queensland Theatres, Venues and Festivals:
Anywhere Festival (Brisbane and Sunshine Coast):
Australian Chamber Orchestra (National):
Upcoming national tour of ‘Arvo Pärt & Shostakovich’ concerts, scheduled from 19 March to 1 April 2020, have been cancelled.
Big Fork Theatre (Brisbane City):
All public events have been cancelled until further notice. This includes Big Fork Fridays, Thursdays and Get It* Inya. Students enrolled in classes will be contacted directly.
Brisbane Entertainment Centre (South Brisbane):
Marvel Universe LIVE!’ scheduled for 11-13 April 2020 has been cancelled and Ticketek will issue refunds.
Brisbane Arts Theatre (Brisbane City):
Productions have been cancelled until Friday, 3 April 2020. Ticket holders will be contacted via email.
Brisbane Comedy Festival (Brisbane):
The last week of the comedy festival has been cancelled. This includes events at Brisbane Powerhouse, The Tivoli, The Fortitude Musical Hall and Newstead Brewing Co. Refunds will be processed.
Coolum Theatre Players (Coolum):
Their current production of ‘Diplomatic Relations’ will be postponed. Tickets will be refunded upon request, please call 07 5446 2500.
CMC Rocks (Willowbank):
The event was scheduled to take place from 18-22 March 2020, however, it has been postponed. The event organisers are working to reschedule in October. Ticket holders are advised to hold onto their tickets.
Drama Queensland (Queensland):
Drama Australia National Conference postponed until later in 2020.
Gold Coast Film Festival (Gold Coast):
Scheduled for 15-26 April 2020, the festival has been cancelled. Ticket holders will be contacted.
Groovin The Moo (Queensland):
Set to visit regional towns and centres through April and May, the festival is no longer happening in 2020. New dates for 2021 have been released, with the festival now rescheduled for Sunday, 2 May 2021 (long weekend) at Murray Sports Complex, Townsville Cricket Grounds (QLD).
Growl Theatre (Windsor):
Upcoming production of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ has been postponed until 2021.
Home of the Arts (Gold Coast):
Events have been cancelled until the end of the month (March 2020). Ticket holders will be contacted via email.
Javeenbah Theatre Company (Nerang):
Thursday and Friday evening’s performances of ‘Assassins’ has been cancelled, with the final performance to take place on Saturday evening.
Mousetrap Theatre Company (Redcliffe):
Upcoming ‘Aussie Pub Show’ has been postponed until further noticed. Those who have made a booking will be contacted regarding a refund.
Redcliffe Entertainment Centre (Redcliffe):
The centre will be closed until Tuesday, 2 June 2020. All associated shows have been cancelled.
Sandgate Theatre Inc (Sandgate):
Upcoming auditions of their One Act Play season have been cancelled.
Savoyards Musical Theatre (Brisbane):
‘Oliver!’ Information Night has been cancelled. Questions can be emailed to the production team at email@example.com.
Splendour in the Grass Festival (North Byron Parklands):
Splendour in the Grass 2020 is being rescheduled to Friday, 23, Saturday, 24 and Sunday, 25 October 2020 at North Byron Parklands. All tickets purchased are valid for the new dates. Ticket holders who are not able to attend are able for a refund from Moshtix.
St Luke’s Theatre Society (Tarragindi):
The production of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ has been postponed from Friday, 20 March until and including Saturday, 28 March 2020; with views to reschedule the production later in the year.
The Big Pineapple Music Festival (Sunshine Coast):
The music festival will postpone its 2020 event, currently scheduled for Saturday, 30 May 2020. Event organisers are working towards a new date in early October.
The Wiggles (Queensland Tour):
The Wiggles have cancelled all upcoming QLD Fun and Games Tours, including shows at Southport RSL (5-6 April), Bokarina Venue 114 (7 April), Redcliffe Entertainment Centre (8 April), Redcliffe Performing Arts Centre (9 April), Toowoomba’s Empire Theatre (14 April), Ipswich Civic Centre (15 April), QPAC (16-17 April), Eatons Hill Hotel (18 April) and Logan Entertainment Centre (19 April). Venues will be in contact to arrange a refund.
World Science Festival Brisbane 2020 (Brisbane City):
The event scheduled for 25-29 March 2020 has been cancelled. This includes all World Science Festival ticketed events in Brisbane, City of Science free public 4-day event, all school programs and The Turtle Hatchery.
World Science Festival Queensland 2020 (Gladstone, Toowoomba and Townsville):
All World Science Festival in Queensland have been cancelled, including Gladstone 20-21 March 2020, Toowoomba 18-20 April 2020 and Townsville 15-16 May 2020.
Queensland Performing Arts Centre (Southbank):
A number of events and performances have been cancelled as the centre closes until Thursday, 30 April 2020. Click here for the full list.
Queensland Theatre (Brisbane):
The planned season of ‘Triple X’ has been cancelled. Ticket holders will be contacted by the Queensland Theatre box office.
Last Updated Wednesday, 18 March 2020.