Another sad effect of the pandemic has manifested in the cancellation of the 2020 Australian Hair Industry Awards (AHIA) gala event. The event had been postponed from its usual mid-year date to November 1, due to the ongoing circumstances, but now has had to be cancelled as a live event entirely. All ticket purchases will be refunded, and the event will be celebrated online.

AHIA 2018 winners

“When the government gave events the go ahead a few months ago, we were very excited and have worked hard behind the scenes to create an environment that was safe, and would allow us to provide the celebration, entertainment and extravagant gala that the AHIA is known and loved for,” said mocha publisher and owner Linda Woodhead.

“Unfortunately, our commitment has not been matched with a practicality that will allow us to deliver a premium event to the industry, meaning that we have been forced to cancel the AHIA gala night,” she continued. “We are not prepared to put our guests through unnecessary cost and inconvenience, offer a less than stellar event and have the genuine prospect of last-minute cancellation.”

This difficult decision was due to the ongoing Queensland border restrictions, self-isolation and quarantine measures for travellers, heavy restrictions for the Victorian community, the uncertainty of further lockdowns and the logistics around social distancing measures at the event, that would severely alter proceedings. The event would also have to forgo any dancing or after party.

“Most importantly, we believe that by taking everything into consideration, we are unable to deliver an event worthy of our respected name and ticket cost, not to mention keeping everyone safe and have guests from all over Australia attend,” Linda explained.

AHIA 2019 winners

The proceedings have been innovatively turned into a live online event, on October 11 at 7pm. This event will announce the AHIA winners and 2020/21 HOT SHOTS Team, live streamed across the brand’s many social media platforms simultaneously. The event team is encouraging the industry to get dressed up and throw their own private parties for the festivities, so we can celebrate together but apart. Acceptance speeches will be shared online and trophies will be sent to all winners. Winners will also receive press coverage and specialised mentorship sessions.

“We have taken this decision very seriously, investigated all options and have looked at how we can best deliver our events where all those involved including entrants, sponsors, judges and supporters all have the best results and outcomes possible both in 2020 and moving forward into the future,” Linda said. “We can’t wait to finally announce our 2020 winners, offer them a new and valuable PR prize, and then look ahead to an incredible 2021 with the AHIA Business Awards in October 2021 and the new AHIA Creative awards due to be held on the Queen’s Birthday weekend in Sydney.”

Maintaining the bold spirit of hairdressing competition, this online event will bring the industry together, before a huge 2021 of AHIA Business, AHIA Creative and Hair Festival alongside it. Let’s celebrate!