17 September 2021

Southland Event Organisers Anxiously Wait for Government Level Announcement

Invercargill Oktoberfest organisers are eagerly awaiting the Government’s announcement on Monday on whether the South Island will drop to alert level 1.

The beer festival, to be held at the Invercargill Working Men’s Club on October 2, can go ahead at level 1 but if the South Island stays at level 2 it can’t. Organisers Kevin Downie and Chris Montgomery have arranged with the working men’s club to have October 23 as a postponement date, if needed.

“We’re staying positive that we can go ahead on the 2nd of October,” Downie said.

“We’re ready to go, it can’t come quick enough for us and to get back to normal.”

More than 500 tickets had been sold and the maximum attendance number was 750 people, Downie said.

“We know there’s a lot of interest in this event.”

Downie and Montgomery, both of Invercargill, had been fielding calls from people anxiously wanting to know if the event would be held or not.

“It’s been non-stop, people asking questions that I can’t answer,” Downie said.

“We just have to wait for the government’s decision.”

The Southland Chamber of Commerce is also hoping the South Island will move to alert level 1 next week ahead of its Southland Business Excellence Awards at Transport World in Invercargill on October 15.

Chamber chief executive officer Sheree Carey said if Covid-19 restrictions prevented it from being held it would be rescheduled for November 19.

She was saddened events were being cancelled, postponed or moved to online because of the Covid-19 restrictions.

Invercargill’s ILT Stadium Southland missing out on big events, like the Murihiku Polyfest this month, was one example, she said.

“We’ve got all these amazing venues, and they’re not able to use them.”

Published by The Southland Times – 17 September 2021