No Winter Magic in Katoomba this year

Winter Magic in 2016. This year's festival has been cancelled.
Winter Magic in 2016. This year's festival has been cancelled.

Katoomba’s Winter Magic festival will not happen in 2018.

The committee voted on January 29 to cancel this year, which would have been the 25th festival. There were concerns from the traffic management company, which said it didn’t want to work on the festival “in its current state”.

After the vote, issues were raised about whether such a momentous decision should be put to all the paid-up festival association members so a meeting was called for next Monday to consider the matter.

But it appears there has been a rethink and the organisers yesterday issued a statement saying the 25th anniversary will now be held in 2019.

Festival president, Rebecca Tyson, said the decision to postpone was to allow organisers time to recreate the festival into an event of national significance when it returns next year for its silver anniversary.

Ms Tyson said the review would also provide time to address resourcing issues faced by the festival which has been run exclusively by generous volunteers for more than two decades.

“The Winter Magic Festival has grown into a major event for the Blue Mountains and now it’s time to refresh the program for our community,” she said.

“With this growth, we need to find ways to better resource Winter Magic and meet the changing requirements associated with event management.”

When the Gazette sought clarification about next Monday’s meeting, a further statement was released, saying: “Under the constitution the decision was made on January 29 to put the event off until 2019. It was decided at that meeting to hold the courtesy meeting with associate members to inform them about the decision and then go public.”

The news had already been made public this week after a number of people raised the matter with the Gazette.

Ms Tyson said there was no single issue responsible for the decision to postpone.

“If it wasn’t for the enormous effort by our volunteers and contributions from the Blue Mountains City Council, we would not have enjoyed such success in the past. Winter Magic is like any other festival, we need to comply with the requirements of holding events from traffic management to public safety, and it’s our responsibility to meet these changes.

“It is our goal to come back in 2019 with it an event that truly celebrates the spirit of creativity and culture in the Blue Mountains.”