29 May 2020

Australia’s premier eating and drinking festival, Tasting Australia presented by RAA Travel, will not be held this October as planned but will return in 2021, from Friday 30 April – Sunday 9 May.

The decision not to deliver the 2020 edition of Tasting Australia comes as a result of the immediate need to support the industry, allowing business owners to focus on rebuilding their businesses, and the ongoing uncertainty over mass gatherings and restrictions around national and international travel.

While the State Government has detailed the three-step COVID-19 recovery plan, it is not yet known by health experts when restrictions on larger gatherings and domestic and international travel can be eased.

What is clear is that it is safe for South Australians to explore South Australian regions and get back into restaurants, cafes and other hospitality venues regionally and across the CBD after the State Government announced Step 2 in the recovery plan has been brought forward to Monday 1 June. Events South Australia Executive Director Hitaf Rasheed says this vote of confidence in the industry is what businesses need during this time.

“Tasting Australia is an important event for our state that showcases our food, beverage and hospitality scene, and our state’s wonderful local produce, across Adelaide and regional South Australia,” Ms Rasheed said.

“Right now, businesses are focusing on recovery as they re-open to customers and adapt to a new way of working, through no fault of their own, to ensure the safety of the community. We want to do all we can to support these businesses through the greatest economic challenge of our time. In line with this, despite Tasting Australia not proceeding in 2020, we will support those businesses who wish to continue to run their events that were part of the 2020 program and use the Tasting Australia platform to shine a light on other activity.

“While Tasting Australia won’t return until 2021, I encourage all South Australians to get into the city and across the state’s regions now, to visit and support the food and beverage businesses who are at the heart of the state’s industry.”

Over recent months, the pandemic has presented the food and beverage industry with unprecedented challenges. Festival Director Simon Bryant says while restrictions are easing, the industry needs to focus on rebuilding over the coming months.

“While we can now see a path forward, it will take some time for our producers and businesses to get back on their feet,” Mr Bryant said.

“From the outset of this crisis, we’ve been focused on how to best support the Tasting Australia community. I believe that delaying Tasting Australia to 2021 will give businesses the time they need to heal and rebuild, allowing them to fully leverage and engage with the festival – and to properly prepare for and embrace all its wonderful possibilities.”

The annual eating and drinking festival is a cornerstone in the state’s event calendar and promotes South Australia as a leading tourism destination.

“Tasting Australia celebrates the state’s food and beverage industry and culinary experiences in all their delicious diversity,” Mr Bryant said.

“The event brings world-class chefs and beverage talent to the South Australian stage, alongside local talent, showcasing our wonderful produce and regions and we want to ensure that we can deliver the festival in all its glory.

“Although the 2020 edition cannot go ahead due to the current climate, the team are excited about the new 2021 dates of 30 April – 9 May and we can’t wait to show you what we have planned for the program.”
Tasting Australia’s presenting partner, RAA Travel, supports the decision to not deliver the 2020 festival and will be back onboard as presenting partner for the 2021 dates. General Manager Travel, Gina Norman says RAA is looking forward to being part of an even bigger and better festival and industry celebration at Tasting Australia presented by RAA Travel in 2021.

“RAA Travel supports the event moving to April 2021 to give local industry time to recover and revitalise their businesses,” says Ms Norman.

“With intrastate travel resuming across the state, we are committed to supporting and growing travel and tourism in South Australia, and even more so through these challenging times.”

Although Tasting Australia won’t run as a festival and there will be no Town Square in Victoria Square/Tarntanyangga in 2020, some smaller events which were part of the original 2020 program and held at established venues will go ahead, within Government guidelines and with the support of the Tasting Australia team as part of the Tasting Australia Local program. The continuation of these events will provide much needed cash flow to those businesses. Ticketholders for these events will be contacted in the next two weeks with further information.

For events that are cancelled, ticketholders will automatically receive a refund within the next two weeks. 

We truly appreciate the support for Tasting Australia. We know there may be questions, and we have tried to answer them in this FAQ document.

To view a copy of our refund policy see here

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