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Sydney’s Royal Easter Show, one of the world’s largest ticket sales events this year, was a no-brainer


The Royal Easter Show in Sydney saw an extraordinary and triumphant return after the COVID-19 pandemic closed its doors last year.

Due to the cancellation of major events here and abroad, it could become the largest event in the world with tickets in 2021, and it is expected that before its closure on Monday night, almost 700,000 people will pass through the gates.

According to the person responsible for the safe conduct of the event, the organization of the event was a “big risk”.

Daryl Jeffrey, chief operating officer of the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS), said he met with NSW Health last year to discuss the likelihood of the event.

He was amazed at how supportive the department was.

“At that stage, the largest number they approved was 50,000 for the NRL Grand Final, and we essentially wanted to host the largest event in the world.”

This could turn into a catastrophe for the RAS health care if a COVID outbreak occurred.

“Last year we lost millions of dollars. We knew we would lose money again at this year’s show, but thought we needed to do it again.

“We didn’t want to be two years there was no Easter show».

He said that another reason why the RAS, a non-profit association, wants to move forward is to give some inspiration to the event sector.

“If we could run this event, the rest of the event industry in New Wales and Australia would say, ‘If you can run an Easter show, you can run anything you want,’ because you won’t get bigger.”

Innovative technology keeps track of numbers

Two ladies make buns with a sign "wash your hands often" in the background.
CWA members had to follow COVID rules despite their efforts to break the record for the number of buns sold at the show.(Submitted by: Alice Marshall)

The number at the show was limited to 60,000 people a day – a large number given that 129,000 people passed through the gates on Good Friday in 2019.

A new technology developed by the Sydney-based PMY Group was used to track the number of people at the event and in the pavilions.

The system tracks body weight, and traffic lights at the entrance indicate when locations are approaching COVID capabilities.

People standing around the sign of social distancing in Sydney Royal.
The cameras tracked the number of people entering and leaving the exhibition halls.(ABC Rural: Hugh Hogan)

PMY has developed systems for other major venues across Australia, including Flemington Racecourse, Sydney Cricket Field and other stadiums in Melbourne and Perth.

According to Mr. Jeffrey, there were no violations of protocols and no cases of COVID-19 on Royal Easter.

“West Sydney’s health has been visited several times and they haven’t mentioned anything of serious concern that they want us to adjust,” he said.

Sleepless nights when Queensland closes

The COVID-19 outbreak in Brisbane just two days before the Easter show threatened to cancel this year’s event.

The RAS was ready to take NSW Health’s advice if the risk was considered too great, and Mr Jeffrey said there were several sleepless nights during the outbreak.

“We sent an email to every person who bought a ticket to the Easter show, reminding them of their commitments.”

A sign with an inscription "Be a goat - the greatest of all time" to encourage people to maintain social distance.
COVID security activities at the exhibition allowed the event to continue.(Submitted by: Alice Marshall)

The world is watching

Community groups from around Australia visited the Sydney Royal Court to see what lessons had been learned.

According to Mr. Jeffrey, other countries are also interested.

“They couldn’t believe what we were doing.”

It is possible that, like the Australian film industry, major global events may take place in Australia amid the success of the Royal Easter Show.

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