Cancelled: Gourmet Escape falls victim to COVID-19

Second time: Western Australia Gourmet Escape festival has been cancelled for the second year running thanks to COVID-19 restrictions, border closures and health concerns. Photo: Facebook/Gourmet Escape
Second time: Western Australia Gourmet Escape festival has been cancelled for the second year running thanks to COVID-19 restrictions, border closures and health concerns. Photo: Facebook/Gourmet Escape

Organisers of the Western Australia Gourmet Escape food and wine festival have announced the cancellation of the event for the second year running.

"We're disappointed to announce that Western Australia Gourmet Escape will not be taking place this year," IMG Events said in a statement released on Friday afternoon.

"The health and safety of all people taking part in the event is our top priority.

"The COVID-19 situation is rapidly evolving on the east coast, which means many of our interstate talent, partners and stakeholders will be unable to travel to Western Australia, and sadly, we will not be able to deliver the unique Gourmet Escape experience our customers love and enjoy."

Tickets went on sale for the 2021 festival in July, following the cancellation of the 2020 festival due to COVID-19 restrictions and border closures.

Celebrity chefs including Rick Stein, Curtis Stone, Maggie Beer, Stephanie Alexander and Guillaume Brahimi were scheduled to appear, and popular events including the Gourmet Beach BBQ, the Ultimate Dining Series and the Gourmet Escape Village were expected to return this year.

Since the inaugural festival was launched in 2012 as the Margaret River Gourmet Escape, the event has attracted around 150,000 attendees.

Celebrity chefs including Rick Stein, Curtis Stone, Maggie Beer, Stephanie Alexander and Guillaume Brahimi were scheduled to appear at the November festival.

Celebrity chefs including Rick Stein, Curtis Stone, Maggie Beer, Stephanie Alexander and Guillaume Brahimi were scheduled to appear at the November festival.

In 2019, the decision was made to split the festival into satellite locations including the Swan Valley, Perth City, Rottnest and the Margaret River region.

IMG Events encouraged ticket holders who had made plans to attend festival events to retain accommodation and activity bookings.

"Western Australia has many incredible experiences that can still be enjoyed in November, from wineries and restaurants to beaches and outdoor activities.

"Over the coming months we will be sharing some of these experiences and encourage all our ticket holders to retain any accommodation bookings and enjoy a getaway in the region."

IMG Events said all ticket holders would receive a refund and should await an email with more information.