Sydney Royal Easter Show

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Sydney Royal Easter Show
Begins22 March 2024
Ends2 April 2024
FrequencyAnnual
Location(s)Sydney Showground
Inaugurated1823; 201 years ago (1823)
Most recent6–17 April 2023
Attendance922,827 (2017)[1]
Organised byRoyal Agricultural Society of New South Wales
Websitewww.eastershow.com.au

First held in 1823, the Sydney Royal Easter Show, commonly shortened to The Easter Show or The Show, is an annual show held in Sydney, Australia over two weeks around the Easter period. It comprises an agricultural show, an amusement park and a fair and combines the elements of each, showcasing the judging of livestock and produce. The Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales is responsible for the event. Queen Victoria awarded the society and its show the right to use the word "Royal" in its name.[2]

The first purpose of the show is specifically to encourage agriculture. Although other aspects of the show have developed including competitions, entertainment and commerce, the display of the products of rural industry remain of major importance, the RAS claiming 30,000 rural exhibits in 2007.[3]

The Show is a celebration of Australian culture, from rural traditions to modern day lifestyles, providing unique experiences for everyone. Every Easter, the country and city join together at Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park, for twelve days of agricultural competitions, animal experiences, live entertainment, carnival fun, shopping and much more.[4] Attendance levels have continued to grow year on year. Whilst most people assume the first Saturday of the show has the highest attendance. However that honour goes to the last Saturday of the show, often having 39% higher attendance than any other day.

The Show has many competitions, including arts and crafts, photography and cookery, as well as tests of strength and skill such as wood chopping. The show also has shopping, restaurants, commercial stands, such as a showbag pavilion and exhibits, a horticultural display, and stage and arena shows. It also even hosts a breed based conformation dog show and cat show, which are nationally accredited.

History[edit]

The District Exhibits are one of the most popular sights at the show. In 2001 the South East Queensland District won First Prize for Display, celebrating the Federation of Australia

The Sydney Royal Easter Show is the largest ticketed event held in Australia and one of the largest in the world.[5][6] The Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales (formed a year before the event) held its first Show in 1823. Its initial purpose was of encouraging the colony's rural industries. The site was at Parramatta Park, 24 km (14.9 mi) west of the town of Sydney. It initially showcased horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, and poultry.

In 1869, the event moved from Parramatta to Prince Alfred Park. In 1881, the Government of New South Wales provided land for the Royal Agricultural Society at Moore Park; the show was held at that venue for the next 116 years. In 1998, the event moved to a new showground within the Sydney Olympic Park precinct at Homebush Bay. The former Sydney Showground at Moore Park has since become Fox Studios Australia, with associated development known as The Entertainment Quarter.[5]

The show since continued uninterruptedly after 1869, except in 1919 (during the Spanish flu outbreak), the years of 1942 to 1946 (during World War II) and 2020 (during the COVID-19 pandemic).[7] As per the event's namesake, it starts on the Friday before Easter and ends on the Tuesday following Easter (with closures on Sundays and Good Friday). During that Thursday, it becomes a Children's Day, when goods such as discounted showbags are on sale.

Yielding to pressure from the public, the show was later to be opened on Sundays and Good Friday. With the move to Homebush Bay, the show was extended to 16 days. In 2000 it was reduced to 14 days. In 2007, a revised program took into account changes to NSW School Holidays, the show commencing on the Thursday before Good Friday in order to increase the holiday time for families to attend.[8] In 2017 over 922,000 people attended the show, when about 850,000 were expected. The previous record was 964,000 in 2004.[1] In 2018, the show returned to its traditional 12 days.[1] If Easter falls in March the show is held outside of school holidays.

The 2021 show ran from 1 to 12 April, under some restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia. Attendee numbers were reduced to 60,000 a day to allow maintenance of 1.5 m (4 ft 11.06 in) distancing as well as separate pavilion entries and exits monitored by COVID marshals, maintenance of distancing in queues, and caps on the number of people in arena, pavilions and stands. Venue cleaning was also increased.[9][6] Attendance was about 800,000. (Inclusive of ticket holders, agricultural and commercial exhibitors, staff, volunteers and other show workers).[10] No cases of COVID-19 were associated with the show.[6]

The 2022 show was held from 8 to 19 April. It was officially opened by the Princess Royal.[11]

Show cancellations[edit]

The Royal Easter Show has been cancelled three times — during the Spanish flu pandemic, the Great Depression and the COVID-19 pandemic — over its almost 200-year history.[12]

Incidents[edit]

On 10 April 2022, the organisers of the show closed one of the rides after the operator failed to secure the four-year-old boy who was on one of the rides on Sunday. It was found via social media that the children on the ride were restrained except for the boy. The ride is permanently closed.[13]

The next night on 11 April 2022, a 17-year-old boy was stabbed to death at 8:00pm in the adult carnival area of the show whilst working at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. That night, a 16-year-old was also stabbed and suffered a leg injury. It was subsequently revealed that police had arrested the people who were involved in this incident.[14][15]

Pricing[edit]

On-line early bird ticket prices (tickets bought before midnight the first day of Show) have been frozen since 2016.[16]

In 2016 a "twilight ticket' was introduced, giving showgoers a budget friendly opportunity to come to the show for a discounted price after 4pm.[17]

Tickets for the show could be purchased on-line via Ticketmaster and from Woolworths Supermarkets where the pass included travel. Tickets were previously available at railway stations and on some buses; however since 2015 this option has been discontinued. In 2015 showbags were priced from $1 to $30.

Tickets are only available for purchase on-line for specific days.[17]

Transport[edit]

With only limited parking available, most people arrive by passenger transport. The event is classified as a major event by the State Government with Sydney Trains operating regular services from Central and Lidcombe. NSW TrainLink Blue Mountains Line and Bathurst Bullet services make an additional stop at Lidcombe for the duration of the show.[18]

On weekends regular services operate to and from Penrith and Schofields along with a few Central Coast & Newcastle Line services from Newcastle Interchange and Wyong. The Olympic Park bus network also operates from various locations across Sydney.[18]

Photo gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The last 14 day Sydney Royal Easter Show attracts best crowds in more than a decade". www.eastershow.com.au. Royal Agricultural Society of NSW. 20 April 2017. Archived from the original on 25 March 2018. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Historical Summary". The Royal Agricultural Society of NSW. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 19 February 2007.
  3. ^ "Sydney Royal Easter Show". Archived from the original on 14 March 2007. Retrieved 9 April 2007.
  4. ^ "About Us". Sydney Royal Easter Show. 15 May 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  5. ^ a b "About the Sydney Royal Easter Show". Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales. 10 March 2007. Archived from the original on 7 March 2007. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  6. ^ a b c Claughton, David (11 April 2021). "How Sydney's Easter Show went from 'massive risk' to one of world's biggest events this year". ABC Rural. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  7. ^ "Royal Agricultural Society of New South Wales-History Timeline Archived 2008-12-05 at the Wayback Machine", rasnsw.com, Retrieved 29 March 2010
  8. ^ "About the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW". Sydney Royal Easter Show. 10 March 2007. Archived from the original on 27 February 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2007.
  9. ^ "CovidSafe Information - Sydney Royal Easter Show". www.eastershow.com.au. 2021. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  10. ^ "That's a wrap on the 2021 Sydney Royal Easter Show!". www.eastershow.com.au. Royal Agricultural Society of NSW. 13 April 2021. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  11. ^ Staff (20 April 2021). "800,000 reasons why media partners love Sydney's Royal Easter Show". Mediaweek.com.au. Mediaweek. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  12. ^ Levy, Natassia Chrysanthos, Laura Chung, Megan (13 March 2020). "Coronavirus updates LIVE: Scott Morrison announces mass gathering bans for Australia". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 13 March 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  13. ^ 9news.com.au. 2022. Sydney Royal Easter Show ride shut down after photo shows boy 'unrestrained'. [online] Available at: <https://www.9news.com.au/national/sydney-royal-easter-show-ride-shut-down-after-photo-shows-boy-unrestrained/6b8bb090-69f7-4add-98a7-6559404ccd17> [Accessed 11 April 2022].
  14. ^ "Teen stabbed to death at Sydney Royal Easter Show identified". 13 April 2022.
  15. ^ "Police say those responsible for fatal stabbing at Sydney's Royal Easter Show still at large". The Guardian. 12 April 2022.
  16. ^ "Tell Santa he can order Easter Show tickets online now - Sydney Royal Easter Show". www.eastershow.com.au. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  17. ^ a b "Tickets & Deals - Sydney Royal Easter Show". www.eastershow.com.au. 2021. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  18. ^ a b Sydney Royal Easter Show 2018 Transport for NSW

External links[edit]