Kickstarting arts and events industry post-COVID-19
THE COVID-19 pandemic knocked over many of our region's events and festivals as if they were dominoes.
But some are still standing and others won't stay down, with people working hard behind the scenes to kickstart the region's arts and events industry.
Event promoter Gavin Butlin said the Airlie Beach Festival of Music scheduled for November - which usually attracts about 3500 to 4000 people - would still be going ahead in some capacity.
"We're hoping by November, we might be able to have 500 or 1000 people … we've just got to wait for the rules," Mr Butlin said.
There were also discussions of combining it with the Great Barrier Reef Festival, he said.
Tourism Whitsundays CEO Tash Wheeler said destination events played a key role in supporting regional tourism and economic growth.
"Fortunately, the majority of the Whitsundays' key destination events take place in the latter half of the year," Ms Wheeler said.
"At this stage, our schedule of events will stay in place, with the exception of The Whitsunday Running Festival, which has been cancelled for 2020".
Mackay Show Association manager Steve Gavioli said they had prospectively booked the Mackay Home Show, Caravan and Camping Expo and the Mackay Show for October.
"If restrictions lift earlier, we will try and arrange something earlier," Mr Gavioli said.
He said the logistics of the show as well as the Queensland Mining Expo could be organised in less than two weeks.
Sarina Show Society president Malcolm Langdon said they had not yet ruled out having their show this year and a decision would be made on June 15.
Meanwhile, Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson said the Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre team was devising what they could offer audiences later this year.
Others, including the organisers behind the Macrossan & Amiet Solicitors Annual Mackay Eisteddfod, have promised they will be back "bigger and better" in 2021.
Mackay and District Pipe Band has already sent out a 2021 Save the Date for its annual Mackay Scottish Bluewater Fling.
Mackay would continue to be a desirable events destination with the support of the community as well as key industry and government stakeholders, Mackay Tourism CEO Tas Webber said.
Mr Webber said the organisation was now supporting the region's event organisers to navigate the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 through its free The Road Ahead webinar series hosted by experienced event organisers.