The Parkes Elvis Festival in NSW's Central West has been cancelled for 2021.
Parkes Shire Council and festival organisers released the news on Friday afternoon following months of discussions and contingency planning.
The cancellation of the 2021 event is the final decision after organisers considered a number of factors, such as the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, event restrictions, results from the community survey and recommendation from the festival committee.
Parkes Shire Mayor Ken Keith OAM said in a statement that while the cancellation of the festival is disappointing and a major setback for the region's economy, it is the right thing to do to keep the community safe.
"The decision to cancel the Parkes Elvis Festival was not taken lightly," he said.
"The festival team have spent months contingency planning, monitoring health advice and changing government restrictions to ensure the health and safety of our community and fans.
"We have taken the decision to cancel now in consideration of fans, performers, suppliers, volunteers, businesses, market stall holders and our staff to minimise the impact on them and enable them to plan for 2022."
With all the restrictions on large events, festival director Cathy Treasure said they would not be able to run the event at the same high standards as they have for the last 28 years.
"The festival brings thousands of people together to celebrate The King, sing along to his hits, dance and socialise. We want everyone to experience the true spirit of the festival which would not be possible with social distancing, limiting numbers and all of the other current Covid-safe event requirements," she said.
"I'd like to thank the community for their patience with the [March] date change that gave us a little more time to see if the virus was on the way out and for telling us what you thought in the survey, so the final decision was in line with what you wanted.
"You spoke. We listened.
"It's been an incredibly tough time for regional NSW who have battled drought, bushfires and dust storms and now Covid-19, however we'll be back in January 2022."
Ms Treasure said fans who have purchased a caravan site at Pioneer and McGlynn Park will automatically receive a full refund.
Fans who have bookings with other accommodation providers have been encouraged to make contact to amend their booking.
The Parkes Elvis Festival will return from January 5-9, 2022 for what organisers say will be the "biggest and best Parkes Elvis Festival in the 29-year history".
The story Cancelled: No hip-swivelling at the Parkes Elvis Festival in 2021 first appeared on Parkes Champion-Post.