It’s official – Ekka 2020 has been cancelled due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The RNA said in a media statement released earlier today that the decision was in the best interests of public health. It will be just the third time in the show’s 143-year history that it’s been cancelled (it was previously cancelled in 1919 due to the Spanish Flu epidemic and in 1942 when the grounds were used as a World War II staging depot).

RNA Chief Executive Brendan Christou said in the statement that ensuring the health and safety of the Ekka community and the general public was paramount.

“This is the biggest worldwide health crisis in generations; these are very challenging and unprecedented times, and nothing is more important than ensuring the best outcome for public health is achieved,’’ he said.

“The RNA will provide every assistance to the government during this public health emergency, including the use of our Royal International Convention Centre which can be transformed into a functioning hospital as required.”

Christou said the decision to cancel the August so far ahead of time was made with exhibitors, competitors and volunteers in mind.

“They are incredibly passionate and supportive of the show and we wanted to give them as much notice as possible,’’ he said. “We are also very mindful of our farming families who rely on events like the Ekka that not just showcase and reward the best of the best, but also provide much needed respite and highlight the many challenges they face such as drought.”

Christou finished by saying planning for the 2021 show is now underway.