THE Bendigo Writers Festival Big Bookmark event has been cancelled, as the City of Greater Bendigo announces a number of changes to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic.
The event was scheduled to take place from May 8-10.
Bendigo Venues and Events manager David Lloyd apologised for the disappointment the cancellation would cause.
"However, public health takes priority, and we will make the necessary decisions to respond responsibly to this health crisis," Mr Lloyd said.
He said the City of Greater Bendigo was committed to protecting the community's health during the pandemic.
"It's essential that we work together to contain the spread of the virus to protect all members of our community," Mr Lloyd said.
The Writers Festival schools day Text Marks The Spot will proceed as planned in August, at this stage.
Festival director Rosemary Sorensen said the focus would now turn to the next Bendigo Writers Festival in May 2021.
"We look forward to welcoming both writers and audiences to Bendigo again next year, to make our city ring with the voices of energising, inspiring, joyful discussion," Ms Sorensen said.
Bendigo Venues and Events will contact ticket and pass-holders shortly to arrange refunds.
The City of Greater Bendigo also announced Bendigo Venues and Events - which encompasses The Capital, Ulumbarra, The Engine Room, Dudley House and Bendigo Town Hall - would close its venues and cancel all performances scheduled during the month-long Victorian State of Emergency, effective 5pm today.
The actual Box Office, in The Capital, would be closed.
The city said ticket holders would be contacted to arrange refunds for affected performances. It encouraged people to contact the Box Office on 5434 6100 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
We have removed our paywall from our stories about the coronavirus. This is a rapidly changing situation and we want to make sure our readers are as informed as possible. If you would like to support our journalists you can subscribe here.