The festival of the weird and wonderful has again fallen victim to pandemic woes.
The Kingdom of Ironfest will have to wait until October to open its doors at Lithgow Showground for the iconic event.
Due to be held on April 24 and 25, Ironfest founder Macgregor Ross said a decision had been made to postpone until a weekend in October, COVID-19 permitting.
"It is with great disappointment that the Ironfest Inc committee and I have decided to postpone this year's Ironfest," he said.
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"We cancelled Ironfest because of the ongoing threat posed by COVID to, not only Ironfest attendees, but also to the local community, given that over 75 per cent of visitors come from Sydney and interstate," he said.
Mr Ross said Ironfest also suffered a big financial blow in 2020 from being cancelled.
"If we were to continue into the future and a snap lockdown occurred, we would have incurred another financial loss and certain bankruptcy," he said.
Last year Ironfest was forced to celebrate the quirky and creative with an online festival.
Looking ahead, Mr Ross said following on from the 2020 theme 'Gothic', this year's theme will be 'Ironfest Gothic Redux'.
"It means to be brought back, and failing to return in October and having to postpone until next year, the theme will be Phoenix," Mr Ross said.
He said there was no doubt that future events would look different.
"They will look very different to what we've had pre-COVID, but we will do our best to reopen the doors to the Kingdom of Ironfest."
How are festival-goers feeling?
Following the announcement the Lithgow Mercury reached out to some passionate Ironfest attendees to see how they were feeling about the situation.
Craig Andrew Batty said he was patiently hoping, planning and waiting.
"You can't kill an idea, and you can't keep a good festival down indefinitely. Change is gonna come," he said.
Lithgow Living History Society's Vicki Hartley said the decision to postpone was "completely understandable".
"...But it is still disappointing because the festival brings people together in such a happy, creative way. The vibe at Ironfest is unique and because many of these folk have gathered every year for so long now, we are all like a big extended family who come together once a year, so I for one will miss seeing those regulars who always attend," she said.
Keen festival-goer Trudy Bright said Ironfest was the most exciting date of her whole calendar year.
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"It's like planning for your wedding, costumes to organise, time off, accommodation to book a year in advance, car serviced and ready for the most amazing crazy event," she said.
"Nothing anyone can say or show you really has the same impact as being there."
Charmaine Overbeek said the decision to postpone showed how much Ironfest organisers cared for their audience and she planned to continue to enjoy the event online.
"Ironfest has put its villagers first. Social media and our love for Ironfest keeps us connected. When you are passionate about an event, a little hiccup like a pandemic wont stop us from looking forward," she said.
"The online event scratched the surface of what a wonderful event Ironfest is, the amazing people that support it and how the event is not just a physical thing but also a heart connected community."
Bathurst City and RSL concert band member Annalee Waight said Ironfest was a gig the band looked forward to each year.
"We understand due to the pandemic that plans need to change and for us, having it postponed helps us prepare and rehearse more, so we can give the best performance. We are all looking forward to performing," she said.
Trade stall owners at Ironfest have also felt the stresses of events being postponed or cancelled.
Adelaide-based merchant Terry Brown said he was half-expecting the event to be cancelled.
"As a sole trader, the loss of income from the 14 events last year and now this is quite devastating but it is what it is. The organising committee must be absolutely gutted to have to do this again but will keep fingers crossed that the October date will be late and not early as October is already quite busy my side of the country. Fingers and toes crossed."
Demonkitty owner Sally Kelland said has been trading at Ironfest for many years and makes a living from these kind of events.
Robot enthusiast Paul Aitken features his creations at Ironfest and tries to build something new every year related to the theme.
He said it was disappointing to hear of the postponement, but understandable.
"Ironfest and the people I met through the event were a huge part of the reasons for me moving to Lithgow.
"So when it was cancelled last year, I was upset but I also understood there was a much bigger issue with the pandemic and the risks were far too high," he said.
"Those risks are still with us now so once again I am disappointed but I totally understand. The big difference this year is the word, cancelled, has been replaced by the word, postponed.
"I hope by October, enough of the vaccine roll-out will mean life can start getting back to normal. And by normal I mean having Ironfest again. Anyway, for me, it just gives me more time to build some more creations for when Ironfest does return," Mr Aitken said.