After two postponements and the earlier cancellation of their Auckland event, the GABS team has been forced to defer their remaining 2020 events. They're now looking ahead to returning on their traditional dates in 2021 (see below).
As COVID-19 restrictions eased in most of the country, they had still hoped to run some of their Australian events, but discussions with the relevant authorities in Queensland and New South Wales failed to reach a point where running a major event would have been viable.
Despite securing a 20,000 square metre space in Sydney, and with Froth Town and Perth BeerFest running successfully in WA in recent weeks, current limits in NSW and Queensland remains at 1,000 people per session. While the GABS team expects those restrictions to ease, they felt they wouldn't be able to commission the festival beers in time or deliver the experience for which the event has become known.
"We've run out of time," festival director Craig Williams told The Crafty Pint. "The health authorities are holding a firm line, so we're transferring everything to next year.
"While GABS Melbourne was unfortunately not going to be able to go ahead due to the current restrictions, we had high anticipation for our GABS Brisbane and Sydney events in November still proceeding, and wanted to ensure we gave them every opportunity to go ahead.
"It's such a shame, but every indoor event is going through the same thing. We'd put all the plans in place to run this as best as possible. If anything, I'm relieved to have made a decision so we can move on with planning for next year."
Having sold out all of their exhibitor stands for 2020 in next to no time last November, they're working on rolling those bookings on to 2021. And they're already looking forward to kicking off the Hottest 100 craft beer polls in the coming weeks.
"We've already had inquiries from breweries wanting logos and timings around the Hottest 100," Craig says.
Look out for updates on that front on this site and our social channels soon.
GABS 2021 Event Dates
- GABS Brisbane: April 17
- GABS Sydney: May 7 & 8 May (introducing a new Friday session)
- GABS Melbourne: May 21 to 23 (concluding Good Beer Week)
- GABS Auckland: July 3
Details for ticket holders and participants:
- Paid Ticket Holders. All current paid ticket holders for our 2020 events will have received an email (via Eventbrite) outlining options to convert to a GABS Tickets and Beer Voucher, which includes tickets for an equivalent ticket to any GABS 2021 event and session, PLUS a free tasting paddle of five beers on us as a thank you for your ongoing support. If preferred, you can just hold onto your ticket and it will still be valid for the GABS 2021 dates or you can request a refund. If you are a paid ticket holder and have not received this email, please let us know at email@example.com.
- Complimentary Ticket Holders. If you have redeemed a complimentary ticket for GABS 2020, or have yet to redeem a complimentary ticket code, you will be emailed a new ticket code one week before tickets for GABS 2021 go on sale in February. This code will allow you to redeem a new complimentary ticket for any GABS 2021 event or session.
- Partners / Exhibitors / Vendors. All GABS 2020 partners, exhibitors and food vendors will have received an email from our team outlining options to secure your position at the GABS 2021 events on the new dates. We will be in touch with you over the coming week to discuss further. Please do reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any further information.
- Festival Beer & Cider Brewers. All GABS 2020 Festival Beer & Cider brewers will have also received an email from our team. With our event dates moving back to our traditional window, we’ll be launching Festival Beer & Cider registrations for GABS 2021 in late January. First preference will be given to those breweries and cidermakers that registered a Festival Beer & Cider for GABS 2020.