Stuck in COVID limbo: Sesame Street Circus just wants to make Canberra kids smile | The Canberra Times

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The Big Top is up, the lights are on, and the artists are ready to go. But while the tent has glowed prominently at Majura Park night after night throughout the lockdown, the Sesame Street Circus Spectacular has sat tight and unable to perform. Canberra’s lockdown fell, as the troupe prepared for its latest Jurassic Creatures show, due to open on August 20. In the two months since, the squad has fallen into limbo in their temporary village between a parking lot and a road, keeping the grass as per their contract with Canberra airport and itching to get back to entertain the crowds. But while many shops, theaters and sporting events will be able to start from October 29, the circus has been told that its current show does not meet the COVID-safe requirements for reopening. Director and owner Keith Brown said he was frustrated to be told that the exhibition-style outdoor show would not be able to continue as early as planned. “I have the whole show sitting here waiting,” he said. “We have received advice from ACT Health that the room should be a sitting place, which we do not understand. The dinosaur exhibition is not a sitting place – it is a two-hour exhibition, an outdoor event.” He said his 47-person circus was 99 percent vaccinated, but that outdoor events should sit and get tickets to continue. Meanwhile, he said he lost $ 100,000 a week; the troupe still has to pay for rent, electricity bills and wastewater costs, and each caravan is a separate home with similar expenses to a house. This, he said, had been particularly difficult for everyone as the company, in addition to individual assistance, did not receive any money from the government. “Mentally and all that, we all come together and we’ve had lots of conversations,” he said. “That’s the case, we do everything we’ve been asked to do, and then we’ve been stopped at the gate post.” He said he and his team had seen families park in the parking lot near the tent at night with their children, looking at the lights and wondering when they would reopen. MORE COVID-19 NEWS: An ACT Health spokesman confirmed that the Jurassic Creatures show would not be able to reopen on October 29 in its current form, but that things could change as the city opened up. “We understand that this is an incredibly difficult time for event organizers, artists and recreation providers,” she said. “From October 29, events will be allowed to take place if they are ticketed and seated and with different capacity limits, depending on whether they are outdoors or indoors.” Our COVID-19 Events Protocol is also currently being updated to reflect our path forward. It will be an opportunity for event organizers to work with us on elements of their events that fall outside what is outlined in the public health guidelines and apply for an event exemption to hold these events in a COVID-safe manner. “But Mr Brown said his biggest frustration was just over the border, NSW circus would be allowed to reopen from October 24.” Here is the city of Sydney, with how many deaths and everything – [a circus] opens at Rosehill Racecourse on Oct. 24, “he said. We’re in Canberra, with full COVID plans, and we can not open. “But he was optimistic that the company would be able to open and complete its Jurassic Creatures season, and would then switch to its brand new Sesame Street Christmas Spectacular on November 26.” It will be Elmo and the Cookie Monster and the gang – they going to a Christmas parade and looking for Santa, “he said.” Because Elmo is only three years old, all he wants to do is meet Santa. “And all the circus wants,” he said, “is to make children smile. Our journalists work hard to deliver local, up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:


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