Nelson’s 4 Lanes Festival has been cancelled, and the complementary Youth Lane event postponed as a result of the COVID-19 Alert Level restrictions.
Both free community events were due to take place on Saturday.
Nelson City Council said the 4 Lanes Festival was expected to bring thousands of people into four “lanes” of the city centre for live music, performances, dancing, games, rides and food, and was unable to be held above COVID-19 Alert Level 1.
Nelson Mayor, Rachel Reese said it was very disappointing to see the 4 Lanes Festival cancelled but that it was the right decision for the safety of the community.
“Four Lanes is a wonderful event that brings people from all over into our city for a lively night of fun, food and entertainment. We’ve been fortunate to enjoy some excellent community events in our city this winter, but unfortunately, this time, COVID-19 has meant a necessary change of plan,” she said.
“While 4 Lanes is unable to be postponed, it is heartening to see the new Youth Lane event will go ahead at a later date. This will no doubt be one of many opportunities available for us as a community to celebrate together again in the not-too-distant future. Until that time, please stay safe and look after one another.”
Council said the festival had taken months of planning and organisation and involved the coordination of hundreds of performers, artists and suppliers from throughout the country.
“Because of this, it is not possible to postpone the event,” Council said in a statement.
Youth Lane was due to be run concurrently with 4 Lanes but focused on events, games and activities for people aged 14-18. Although much smaller than 4 Lanes, it was still expected to attract crowds too large to be able to take place above COVID-19 Alert Level 1, Council said.
However, the smaller number of operators involved in Youth Lane means it should successfully be able to be rescheduled and has therefore been postponed until later in the year. A new date for the event will be set in due course, Council said.