Ausdance VIC has reluctantly had to cancel the Australian Youth Dance Festival scheduled for 4-9 July.
Around 90 percent of attendees were coming from outside of Victoria, so COVID-19 lockdowns and border closures have made it impossible for participants to visit Melbourne at this time.
“Obviously we are disappointed, but our priority is the safety of participants and the general public,” says Ausdance VIC Executive Director Michelle Silby.
Ausdance VIC would like to thank everybody who has put an enormous amount of effort into AYDF and to acknowledge their sadness at this unfortunate decision.
“Unfortunately, we are unable to continue with the festival due to the impacts of COVID-19. It has been a difficult 12 months for everyone and cancelling AYDF is another blow to young dancers who have worked hard to prepare for the event,” says Michelle Silby.
AYDF artistic directors, Caitlin Comerford and Kyall Shanks, have worked hard under difficult circumstances to make the festival a reality, and they have shared their feelings in a joint statement.
“We are both devastated that AYDF has had to be postponed until 2022 but obviously understand the reasons this needs to happen. Everyone’s health and safety comes before anything else. In the meantime, we hope you show each other and yourselves kindness and love and that everyone who was engaged to be involved in the festival will join us in 2022. We know that when we are able to dance together again, it will be a true celebration of our industry, young people and the joy that is dance.”
Ausdance VIC is currently in discussion with its AYDF partners to reconvene the festival in 2022.
“AYDF is a biannual event but given the frustrations of this year we don’t want to wait another two years to bring everyone together,” says Michelle Silby, adding that “our hope is to reschedule AYDF in July next year.”