It is with regret that the organisers of this year’s SPYfest Goulburn: The Epicentre of Espionage event have today announced that one of the events’ special guests, the internationally renowned thriller author, Frederick Forsyth, is unable to attend the event.

SPYfest will still go ahead as planned for the most part with Australia’s only Bond, George Lazenby, as special guest next weekend, 16 – 18 September in Goulburn.

“Due to an unforeseen event that has prohibited him from travelling, Frederick Forsyth is unable to attend SPYfest this year,” said Wendy Antony, part of the SPYfest Organising Committee, a small group of dedicated volunteers.

“The festival organisers are disappointed that Frederick won’t be here in Goulburn to be part of the spy-filled weekend, however we understand his position completely.

“We were so thrilled that Mr Forsyth had accepted our invitation to join us this year and we are saddened that he can no longer be part of this year’s event.

“Many months of planning have gone into his itinerary, including the opportunity for Frederick to fulfil a lifelong dream of visiting Ningaloo Reef whilst in Australia. Frederick has also expressed his sadness that he cannot make it as planned,” Wendy continued.

The English thriller writer and former MI6 spy is most famous for best sellers such as The Day of the Jackal, The Odessa File, The Fourth Protocol and The Dogs of War. He has 70 million book sales to his name and frequents best-seller lists worldwide.

“We understand this will be a great disappointment to the many people travelling from all over Australia for the unique opportunity to meet, engage with and hear from an admired author about his life and many escapades,” Wendy continued.

Frederick Forsyth has expressed his regret.

“I am deeply sorry and disappointed I won’t be able to attend SPYfest. It is with heavy heart I have to pull out. I wish your festival every success,” Mr Forsyth said.

All of the SPYfest events will still go ahead as planned, with some minor changes. Visitors are encouraged to check the SPYfest website www.spyfestgoulburn.com.au or call the Goulburn Visitors Centre directly on (02) 4823 4492 to find out more about the program of events.

“The show must go on, and despite the blow to SPYfest, this year’s event is shaping up to deliver another action packed, spy-filled weekend with none other than George Lazenby,” said Wendy.

Returning for the second year, and this year held over three big days, SPYfest is a celebration of all things spy, in tribute to Goulburn’s very own James Bond, George Lazenby. The festival offers something for the whole family, regardless of whether they’re Bond fans or not.

The fun ranges from the fast-paced to the glamorous, much like the Bond films themselves. Visitors can watch the classic cars from the films including the Aston Martin driven by George Lazenby in ‘On her Majesty’s Secret Service, or get glammed up and don their finest tux and Casino Royale-worthy fare for the Secret Agents Gala Dinner.

“We know Frederick was really looking forward to coming to Goulburn and talking to his many fiction fans, and we welcome him to come back to Goulburn for future SPYfests in years to come,” Wendy concluded.

SPYfest takes place on the weekend of 16-18 September throughout Goulburn. Some events are ticketed, with limited places available. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to www.spyfestgoulburn.com.au. For more information on Goulburn visit www.goulburnaustralia.com.au

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