After Hamilton's Gardens Arts Festival announced its cancellation, Frankton Thunder, Pukekohe's Classic Motorcycle Festival, Whangamata's legendary Beach-Hop and Thames' new Hootnanny festival have also become Covid casualties as the Omicron variant continues to spread.
Whangamata Beach Hop legend Noddy Watts says Covid hit the event, entertainment and tourism industry so hard, a lot of them, him included, are looking for new jobs.
While Frankton Thunder and the Hootnanny festival are cancelled for this year, the Classic Motorcycle Festival is postponed until April and Beach Hop is postponed until November.
Watts says it was a very tough time for the events industry.
"I wouldn't dare to plan a new event for the next 12 months ... A lot of people in the events industry are looking at changing careers due to financial losses. To be honest, I updated my CV this morning."
The Hootnanny festival was set to kick off this month, but he says the event can't be held in the red traffic light setting.
"There are only 100 people allowed ... and we can't do that. We had no other choice."
He says he hopes to be able to hold the Hootnanny festival next year and is currently working through the process of refunding all ticket holders. "But there are also [expenses] we can't recover. It's a huge financial loss."
While Watts is happy that the Kickdown motorcycle festival went ahead as planned, receiving "fantastic" feedback, he says the event still felt the impact of Omicron.
"We were under [the number of visitors that] we were expecting. Usually, you get a last-minute rush, but we didn't [and] unfortunately, there is no government support for that because the event went ahead."
The Beach Hop Rock'n'Roll Festival, originally set to take place from March 23 to 27, has been postponed to November 23 to 27.
Watts says when the traffic light system came into place, the festival committee worked closely with Thames-Coromandel District Council and DHB to find a way to adapt the festival accordingly.
"Despite our efforts, it just isn't possible ... [The traffic light system says] ... if an event is in a public place where the My Vaccine Pass can not be used restrictions apply. Due to the nature of Repco Beach Hop 22 with car shows and events in public places, we can't restrict entry to vaccinated people only."
Those who have purchased vehicle entry tickets, etc, will be contacted and given the option to roll over the entry to the postponed November event, Beach Hop 2023, or they can apply for a refund if they can't make either of these events.
Beach Hop 2023 is scheduled for March 22 to 26.
Meanwhile, Frankton Thunder Organising Committee member and president of the New Zealand Classic Motorcycle Racing Register (NZCMRR) Ken McGeady is staying positive.
While Hamilton's automotive and Steampunk event, scheduled for March 13, is cancelled, the Classic Motorcycle racing festival, originally set to take place this weekend, was able to be postponed to April.
"The real issue [with Frankton Thunder] was being able to separate people properly since Frankton is an open area and the event is not [ticketed]."
Under the Government's new traffic light system policy, the organisers are required to view vaccination status or limit numbers to the event.
"Due to the open access into Frankton Thunder, we cannot see any way to regulate this ... [and] we're better off waiting it out."
The team is hoping to get back to some kind of normality in the next year so that Frankton Thunder can return "in full swing, bigger and better, for 2023".
As for the Classic Motorcycle Festival, McGeady says he hopes the traffic light settings will have changed by April.
"We are reliant on visitors and sponsors, it's so big we couldn't risk it to run it in the red setting."