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The Dunedin Fringe Festival has been cancelled following the arrival of the Covid-19 outbreak in Dunedin.
Festival director Gareth McMillan said the decision was made last night during a meeting with the Dunedin Fringe Arts Trust board and he is "devastated" for the community and artists affected.
He said independently produced events, which fall under the Fringe umbrella, should also cancel.
"As contractors, they will be severely impacted now and in coming months, as will the wider sector including technicians, venues, suppliers and everyone who relies on a vibrant entertainment industry," McMillan said.
Fringe will do "whatever possible" to support art practitioners, including offering the financial resources it has available.
McMillan said it will look at ways to host a digital festival, which will allow for a virtual gathering, and create an opportunity for money to be raised for affected artists.
More information will be released as the plan developed.
Tickets will be refunded and purchasers will have the option of donating the ticket price to the artist.
"This is not the 20th birthday party we had planned but the Dunedin Fringe will be back next year and it will be better than ever." McMillan said.
The Fringe Festival was set to be held from March 18-29.