It was definitely expected but nonetheless disappointing when the decision was made to cancel the long running bentART exhibition in the Blue Mountains on the Queens Birthday long weekend this year.

Every year, the Blue Mountains plays host to a range of increasingly popular LGBTQI hosted events, including the bentART opening ceremony on the Friday evening, which sets a welcoming and deliciously social tone for the rest of the long weekend.

The champagne and canapé event kicks off the weekend, which leads into the boogey inducing Three Sisters Social Group Blackheath Disco on the Saturday night (think Blue Light Disco from the old days with BYO everything) with the Annual Costume Ball on the Sunday night offering a stylish end indeed to the weekend’s festivities.

But this years cancellation hasn’t dampened the artist’s or the public’s appetite for this annual art exhibition with organisers of bentART vowing to come back bigger and better next time. With a whole extra year to plan for the next event, they’ll be sure to be bringing it for 2021!

 Cancelling an event can be an expensive and logistical nightmare but Johnathon, of the bentART committee, says that suppliers for the event were understanding.

“Fortunately we hadn’t had to output too much money at that point. Anything that was due for payment we just held off for a while until the future was clearer. And of course once we were confirmed as cancelled for 2020 we then had to cancel bookings, suppliers, etc. Everyone was understanding which was good.”

And the artists that were busily creating the pieces for exhibition were obviously disappointed too, though understanding about the need to cancel.

An increasing number of art works are sold every year including Apocalypse Shopping Spree, (pictured) which the author of this article picked up a few year ago.

 Jonathon says, “bentART being cancelled was just one of many and everyone’s health was of course more important.”

When it comes to what to expect for next years festivities, Jonathan is predicting an enthusiastic return to this beloved annual exhibition, which is a unique opportunity for Australian LGBTQI artists from everywhere to submit their art works.

The “bentART opening is a great social event for the June long weekend as well as the art exhibition. I think people will want to enjoy that once more next year when we are hopefully back to regular ways of operating.”

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