Big kerfuffle over cancelled festival

Tristan WheelerManjimup-Bridgetown Times
2020's Truffle Kerfuffle has been cancelled.
Camera Icon2020's Truffle Kerfuffle has been cancelled. Credit: Manjimup-Bridgetown Times

Manjimup’s annual Truffle Kerfuffle has been cancelled this year due to the coronavirus crisis.

Truffle Kerfuffle president Jeremy Beissell said the uncertainty surrounding the virus prevented the event from going ahead.

“The board came to the conclusion that there was some risk continuing or attempting to have that festival this year and therefore we should cut our losses and look forward to 2021 and hopefully be able to put on a great festival then, when the world is in a better place.”

Mr Beissell said surveying conducted two years ago estimated the Truffle Kerfuffle brought more than $2 million to the region. “These regions need these sort of festivals to showcase what we’ve got and we’ll need all the support we can get ... but we’re certainly looking forward to the challenge and we’ll be able to put a lot of the work we’ve already done towards next year,” he said.

“We’re hoping next year is bigger and better and is a celebration of us getting started again.”

Head of sales of major sponsor Truffle & Wine Co, Alex Wilson, said the Truffle Kerfuffle helped raise the profile of the domestic truffle industry, as well as boosted tourism.

“It helps very much domestically to raise awareness of the truffle industry, of which 80 or 90 per cent that are grown in Australia are grown in the Southern Forests region,” Mr Wilson said.

“As a visitation and tourism driver, the Truffle Kerfuffle does bring thousands of people from all walks of life, all age groups, all socio-economic groups, down to the region.”

Mr Wilson said the cancellation was an opportunity for the Truffle & Wine Co to help make the 2021 event as big as possible.

“If it is put back a year ... that’s not great, but it also means we have much more time as a sponsor to work with them as a festival to see what we can do bigger and better for next year,” Mr Wilson said.

“I think next year is going to be a massive year for the region, for truffles and for the Truffle Kerfuffle.”

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