Following last night’s announcement that Auckland will be at Alert Level 3 until 6 March, the 2021 Auckland Lantern Festival has been cancelled.

The event, which was originally scheduled for 25-28 February and postponed to 4-7 March, can only be delivered at Alert Level 1. With Auckland under Alert Level 3 for the first three days of the Festival, the decision has been made to cancel the event.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says it’s disappointing that the Auckland Lantern Festival has had to be cancelled, but it’s necessary given the recent cases of COVID-19 in the community and the Level 3 alert in Auckland.

“The Auckland Lantern Festival is one of the biggest celebrations of our Chinese communities and it’s a real shame that it can’t go ahead this year,” he says.

“However, given the uncertain situation with new and more transmissible variants of COVID-19 being detected in the community, a precautionary approach is warranted. I look forward to being able to celebrate the Lantern Festival when it returns next year.”

Auckland Unlimited’s Head of Major Events Richard Clarke said: “Our reality is that we are operating in an ever-changing environment. We are naturally disappointed that the festival can’t proceed, following the initial postponement to give ourselves every chance to deliver the event.”

“We would like to acknowledge the hard work of the Lantern Festival team, the performers and stallholders, sponsors, and every person involved in the planning of the event this year.” 

Anyone who has pre-booked their tickets for the festival do not need to do anything – all tickets will automatically be cancelled at no cost.

Auckland Lantern Festival is delivered by Auckland Unlimited*, on behalf of Auckland Council, with founding partner Asia New Zealand Foundation.