Information about the Cancellation of 2024 Riverina Field Days


 14 May 2024

Rain Check? Riverina Field Days Dampened by Weather, But Spirits Remain High

The highly anticipated Riverina Field Days, scheduled to take place on 10th & 11th May, were unfortunately cancelled due to inclement weather conditions. Organisers made the difficult decision to call off the event at 9am on the Saturday after heavy rainfall overnight rendered the grounds unsafe for attendees and exhibitors.

Jason Torresan, the organiser of Riverina Field Days, acknowledged the challenging nature of the decision, stating, “The difficult decision to cancel didn’t come without careful consideration to both us as an event organiser and our exhibitors. It wasn’t easy.”

The centre of the Arena became water logged. “Some areas of the site were holding more than 200mm of water due to stormwater runoff.”

With several weather forecast being monitored,  all were proven inaccurate with another 20mm being received that day.

“We were confident our decision was the right call, as by the end of Saturday the site had received 63mm of rain.”

The cancellation came after months of meticulous planning, involving significant investments in logistics, advertising,  labour and infrastructure. Torresan revealed that the estimated loss of is close to  $100,000, with a substantial portion of approx $50,000 allocated towards entertainment and attractions that could not be utilised due to the cancellation. Additionally, he noted that there could be a repair bill of close to $25,000 to restore the grounds at the Griffith Showground.

Torresan recalled the challenges faced during the unexpected La Niña event in 2022, which made bump in and out procedures difficult. “We learnt from that event and put additional safety procedures into practice this year,” he noted. However, despite the preparations, organisers were once again caught off guard by the continuation of rain, underscoring the unpredictable nature of weather patterns.

“Over 50mm of rain fell from Friday to Saturday morning, covering the grounds and posing a safety hazard,” Torresan explained. “It would have made bump out in the late afternoon/evening extremely dangerous.”

Acknowledging the widespread effects of the adverse weather conditions, Torresan noted that other sporting events scheduled for the same weekend had also been cancelled. “Any event with that much rain would be forced to cancel. We are no exception,” he remarked.

Torresan also pointed out the interesting dynamic that sometimes rain can have a positive impact. He noted the contrast between this year’s weather conditions and those of the previous year, emphasising the impact on attendance. “In 2023, on the Friday, we experienced dry and sunny weather, with an attendance of 2,200. This year, despite the adverse weather, gate numbers were higher, reaching 3,300,” he elaborated. Torresan also highlighted that attendance would likely have been very low on Saturday due to heavier rainfall than the day before, further illustrating the unpredictable nature of weather’s influence on events.

Torresan emphasized, “Not only are we disappointed we had to cancel this community event, we are disappointed for our exhibitors too. Many of our exhibitors have travelled from far and wide, investing considerable time effort and resources to participate in the event and had created some impressive and amazing displays.”.

Torresan continues “It’s disheartening to see their efforts dimmish due to circumstances beyond our control. We share in their disappointment and are committed to supporting them in any way we can as we navigate through this unforeseen challenge”.

In light of the cancellation, Torresan highlighted the dedicated efforts and team work of the event staff, who have been tirelessly working to assist exhibitors in removing their equipment from the arena. “Our staff have been working tirelessly to facilitate the safe and efficient removal of exhibitors’ equipment from the event grounds” he stated.

Extending appreciation, “We’d like to thank our Gate volunteers from Griffith Lions Club, Griffith City Football Club, and Griffith East Public School ‘School Band Fundraising Committee’ for their tireless commitment amidst testing conditions”

Despite the setback, Torresan expressed gratitude towards exhibitors for their patience and understanding. “On behalf of the team here at the Riverina Field Days, we’d like to thank exhibitors for their patience and understanding,” he said. “Thank you for working with us whilst we endeavoured to safely bump out exhibitors during last minute challenging circumstances.”

Looking ahead, event organisers are exploring the possibility of rescheduling the Riverina Field Days to an alternative date in 2025, taking into account dates of other field days that may clash for exhibitors to attend, not to mention choosing a date where it’s quiet for farmers – which may prove difficult.

Torresan assured that exhibitors affected by this year’s cancellation would be accommodated in the future. “Organisers will ensure that any exhibitor who attended the Riverina Field Days this year and returns next year, will be looked after as this cancelled event was beyond our control,” he affirmed.

Despite the challenges faced, Torresan remained optimistic about the future of the Riverina Field Days, stating that the resilience demonstrated by both organisers and attendees alike serves as a testament to the event’s enduring spirit. He affirmed his commitment to continue adapting and improving the event, ensuring it remains a cornerstone of the community for years to come.

Additional Information released 23.5.24

On the Saturday of the event, the grounds were inundated with 63 mm of rain. This created a situation where the safety of our exhibitors and attendees could no longer be guaranteed, leaving us no choice but to cancel the remainder of the event.
This was not a decision made lightly, as we knew it would result in a considerable financial loss for us, exceeding $100,000 and counting. Not to mention the impact on you as an exhibitor – the cost, staff, travelling reps and huge effort to set up. There were a lot of factors to consider; numbers through the gate would have been drastically reduced, resulting in a poor outcome of sales for exhibitors, no entertainment or kids rides for families, patrons could simply not walk in some areas due to flooding, car parks closed, marquees broken due to the deluge of rain buckling them, exhibitors opting not attend at the last minute for risk of the rain damaging their stock, electricity was becoming an issue. SO many factors contributed to our decision.
We hope you can appreciate by closing the event early gave us daylight hours to attempt to remove exhibitors instead of at night in the dark. We had numerous situations of bogged vehicles, trucks and equipment making it even more dangerous for our staff and patrons. Whilst we know this was frustrating for you, safety comes first in any situation. 
As organisers, our primary concern was ensuring everyone’s safety amidst conditions that were beyond our control. Despite meticulous planning and preparation, this rain event was unforeseeable and completely unexpected, a fact reported by weather authorities. The Griffith Showgrounds doesn’t cope well with a lot of rain and is something that is out of our control.