The 200th Royal Hobart Show will be one of few to go ahead in Tasmania this year, but with strict limits on crowd numbers.

Key points:

  • The Royal Launceston show has been cancelled for the second year in a row
  • Hobart’s show is expected to run at a considerable loss
  • Numerous shows around the state have disappeared from the 2021 calendar

The state health department is restricting attendance to patrons to 5,000 a day and the government is supporting the event with a grant of $50,000 for hygiene and patron management.

“In the last few days, the Premier and Deputy Premier have become involved, and we’re grateful for their decisive steps to ensure a safe show can proceed without debilitating financial losses to the Society”, Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania chief executive Scott Gadd said.

“It’s put us under the pump — we’ve got six weeks or so to go to deliver this event [and] we’ve got to change … how we we’re going to deliver it.

A grey-haired man stands on a showground in front of a line of campervans.

Scott Gadd said it was worth pushing ahead for the 200th show.(

ABC News: Lucy Shannon

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Big loss expected

Mr Gadd said the limits had the potential to “knock around” the event, tradespeople and stallholders.

“The big one is the 5,000 cap on patrons — on a normal show day we could exceed 20,000,” he said. 

“We’ve coming up with the concept of ‘sessioning’, so we are going to break the big days … up into two sessions so we can try and get a maximum of 10,000 [people] through on those days.”

Despite the financial support Mr Gadd says running the 200th Royal Hobart Show will leave the Society in the red.

“I’ve estimated our losses will be somewhere between $200,000 and $400,000 dollars,” he said.

“But it is our 200th [show], and the other factor here is we’ve had pretty much most of the show circuit collapse this year.

A pink panther character swivels while a hand puts balls in its mouth.

The Royal Hobart Show will run at a loss this year.(

ABC News: Aneeta Bhole

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Another one bites the dust

The announcement comes amid the cancellation of the Royal Launceston Show.

“It’s a bit of a somber sort of mood at the minute, but I think we’ve made the right decision,” Launceston Show Society president Dale Beams said.

The event was to be held at its new Quercus Park site for the first time, but crowd limits and other measures put an end to that.

“It wasn’t fair on our exhibitors, on our vendors, on our sponsors and even on the general public,” Mr Bearns said.

Women competing in an axe event at a showground.

Axe competitors will be without a major competition in Tasmania this year.(

ABC News: Laura Beavis

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Tthe Westbury Show, in the state’s north, is set to go ahead on Saturday September 6.

“With so many agricultural shows cancelled across the country, we’re really pleased that our committee members have expressed their desire to have the show run this year,”  committee member Stacey Tweedale said.

Royal Hobart Show will go on, but hefty loss expected
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