The Warrnambool show has been cancelled for the second year in a row with the uncertainty over COVID-19 lockdowns forcing organisers to pull the pin two months out.
Warrnambool Agricultural Society president Jason Callaway said cancelling the October 30 show wasn't an easy decision to make.
"This decision has not been taken lightly, but due to ongoing restrictions we feel this is now our only option," he said.
"Planning for a show the size of ours is a very big financial commitment and also takes 12 months of planning and a lot of man hours to undertake.
"We did not want to continue on with the planning for this year's show and get to the week of the show and have to pull the rug out from under everyone which would be a more difficult situation for all."
Mr Callaway said there was too much uncertainty around restrictions and, even if the lockdown was lifted, the cap on crowd numbers could impact the financial viability of the show.
Organisers had been in touch with government departments to try and work out what the restrictions would be if Warrnambool was to come out of lockdown, but there was no guarantees of what that would look like.
"It might be 300 people at an event, it might be 1000, they don't know. We need to be able to run an event with 5000 people to make it worthwhile otherwise we just can't do it," Mr Callaway said.
He said some of the stallholders and entertainers from interstate were unable to get permits to come, so they had to pull out.
"Our entertainment was dwindling as well, so it was just the best decision all round to make," Mr Callaway said.
Other shows in the region have already cancelled including Camperdown, Coleraine, Colac, Ballarat, Geelong and the royal shows in Melbourne and Adelaide.
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"Like last year, there will be people that aren't happy with our decision. We can understand that but we've got to make a decision on what we think is best for everyone, all our stakeholders," Mr Callaway said.
Show vice-president Roger Wilkinson said making the call two months out from the event would give stakeholders plenty of notice.
"We didn't want to leave it to the last minute," he said. "That's the second year in a row, but what can we do. We've got to be careful of people's health."
Mr Wilkinson said organisers had already spent "too many hours to count" getting ready for the show, and at the moment the lockdown restrictions meant they couldn't even go to the showgrounds to prepare.
"We'd normally be flat out. Yes it peaks in the couple of weeks before the show but you can't leave everything until then," he said.
"There's so many hours behind the scene that the public just doesn't see.
"We've got to be careful of people's health. We don't know what's happening with future lockdowns."
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