Thieves Alley cancelled over Covid concerns

The Dunedin City Council has cancelled next year’s Thieves Alley Market Day event over Covid concerns.

The event, due to be held on Saturday, February 12 in the Octagon, would no longer go ahead owing to the difficulty in finding ways to manage it under the Covid traffic light system, DCC General Manager Community Services Simon Pickford said.

“It was a difficult call to make, but it is the right call given the pandemic and the risks operating large-scale events,” Pickford said.

"Obviously, we are saddened to have to cancel this long-running, popular event.

"Under the traffic light system we are required to check vaccine passes at events, but the Octagon location makes it very difficult. We understand many people will be disappointed.

We explored the option of shifting the event to other locations, however doing so would diminish the value and quality of the event and take the uniqueness away from it.”

The Thieves Alley event in central Dunedin this year. Photo: Peter McIntosh
The Thieves Alley event in central Dunedin this year. Photo: Peter McIntosh

Thieves Alley is an annual event, with a wide array of entertainment, stages, and hundreds of stalls. It went ahead this year in a spaced-out format with an estimated crowd of 10,000.

Pickford said the council still planned to host a number of other events, albeit under slightly different arrangements and on a smaller scale.

“We do have an exciting programme of summer events for the community to enjoy.” 

Other events coming up include the Chinese New Year celebrations, Sunday Sounds, and the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup which can managed under the framework. We will continue to work to bring you these unique events our community value so much. 



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