ACT Chief Minister supports return of Street Machine Summernats in 2022

Things are looking up for the return of the world's best car festival to Canberra in 2022



  • Over 2300 entrants ready to go
  • ACT government prepared to move the Exhibition Park testing facility

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr has thrown his support behind plans to run Street Machine Summernats 34 at Exhibition Park in Canberra, January 6-9, 2022.

On Monday, Mr Barr announced more details about the Territory’s pathway out of lockdown, which includes the possibility of large events from late November or early December with some limits and subject to stable COVID-19 case numbers.

One of the issues faced by Summernats organisers has been that Exhibition Park has been used as a COVID testing facility since the beginning of the pandemic, but it seems that this will no longer be an obstacle.

“We’ll do what we need to do to accommodate events, and that may mean either temporarily or permanently shifting testing sites next year,” Mr Barr said at today’s press conference.

While it is likely border closures may impact the ability of some entrants and spectators to attend the event, Summernats Co-Owner Andy Lopez expects the event will be a big one and won’t look too dissimilar to previous years.

“We currently have over 2300 cars entered,” he told Street Machine today. “I think it is likely there will be capacity limits for the indoor spaces, but we can manage that. There may be daily limits on the total number of people we have on site, but again we can work with that to put on a great show.

“It is possible that we’ll need mask-wearing indoors and maybe outdoors where social distancing isn’t practical. We ran Rockynats under those conditions earlier this year, and you know what? If that’s what we need to do to get together and have a good time, I think people are really cool with it.”

Earlier today, a number of heavyweights from the Canberra tourism industry came out to support the return of Summernats to the ACT, including Chairman of the Canberra Region Tourism Leaders Forum, Dr David Marshall:

“It is one of Canberra’s major events attracting well over 100,000 visitors to the nation’s capital,” he said.

“As COVID travel restrictions are lifted across Australia, these events are pivotal to driving the recovery of the Australian economy in each state and territory. The economic benefit of Summernats to the ACT is significant, generating $29.2m in 2019. Hotels, tourism, hospitality and the retail sectors all benefit from the event.”