On Friday, the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival announced it would not go ahead in March as planned, due to coronavirus concerns.

Now, the festival has been rescheduled for spring 2020 – September, October or November – though exact dates are yet to be confirmed.

“We understand that news of this postponement will be a great disappointment to our guests,” said Food & Wine Victoria CEO Anthea Loucas Bosha in a statement. “Everyone in our organisation is heartbroken by this turn of events. The investment in the festival from the hospitality industry, from partners, sponsors, suppliers, volunteers and staff has been tremendous.”

The 2020 line-up was one of the strongest yet for the annual festival, with big names including Alison Roman, Philippe Mouchel and Ben Shewry headlining. And while festival organisers are hoping to replicate this line-up later in the year, and encourage attendees to hold onto their tickets to help support the hospitality industry, refunds for the March event are available to those who want them.

“We want you to hang on to your tickets and come together with us in spring 2020 to support and celebrate our local food and drink community,” reads a post on MFWF's Instagram page. “We are not cancelling the program, we’re hitting pause. And we plan to return with as much of our March program as possible.”

Ticketholders seeking refunds can email info@foodandwinevic.com.au. For a live list of events cancelled or postponed due to concerns around coronavirus, see Broadsheet's regularly updated wrap.

mfwf.com.au