The 2021 Summernats festival (Summernats 34) has been delayed to January 2022, but a new, reduced capacity Summernats Rev Rock ‘n’ Roll festival in March 2021 will tide rev heads over.
Summernats managing director Andy Lopez said their 2021 main event had to be rescheduled due to Exhibition Park (EPIC) being used by ACT Health as a COVID-19 testing facility until at least the end of November.
“(ACT Health) and can’t confirm we’ll have our venue back, which is an unmanageable risk to our event,” Mr Lopez said.
“Combined with ACT Health’s recently released protocols that exclude outdoor multi-day festival events of more than 5,000 people, a pathway to a January Summernats is impossible.
“We’ve fought really hard for our event for the last six months … ACT Health and other agencies are doing their best to keep everyone safe. We respect the great job that’s been done to get the ACT to such a good position.”
The Summernats Rev Rock ‘n’ Roll festival will be staged at EPIC from 5 to 7 March 2021 – the Canberra Day long weekend – with a maximum of 5,000 spectators and entrants to be allowed, far down from the 100,000 fans and 2,000 vehicles usually in attendance at the January event.
The Rev Rock ‘n’ Roll festival will be a “centrepiece” of the 2021 Enlighten Festival and mark the first major event designed to fit Canberra’s current COVID-19 guidelines.
The March event will include a lot of familiar spectacles like the Burnout Masters Grand Final, cruising, show and shine, dyno, an automotive retail expo and more.
Mr Lopez said Summernats have already engaged with Venues ACT, Visit Canberra and Events ACT “to get the show happening”.
ACT Labor Leader Andrew Barr said he looks forward to both the Summernats Rev Rock ‘n’ Roll festival in March, and then the full event returning in 2022.
“Summernats is an important event on the Canberra calendar, bringing tens of thousands of visitors each year to town who support local businesses,” Mr Barr said.
“It is great to see Summernats working in partnership with the ACT Government to evolve the event and operate in a COVID-Safe way.”