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Food and wine ‘festival’ at Melbourne General Cemetery causes heartache


A grieving family has been told they can’t bury a loved one as planned at Melbourne General Cemetery.

Why? Because of a food and wine festival.

Vanessa Guerra lost her 96-year-old grandmother last week and her family had planned to have her funeral on Thursday.

But 3AW Mornings revealed the cemetery would be closed for three days in preparation for a food and wine festival on Friday night.

“It’s hard for everybody,” Ms Guerra told Neil Mitchell.

Cemetery management has since “unreservedly apologised” for their error.

“We understand they would be distressed about the loss of their mother,” they said in a statement.

“We have offered to accommodate their plans for an interment on either Thursday or Friday.

“This situation arose as part of our ongoing commitment to open up cemeteries and get more people to visit them.

“The event at Melbourne General Cemetery is part of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival and includes an historical tour of the cemetery to showcase the rich cultural heritage that exists there.

“We believe events like this are an important part of what we do, but we have to acknowledge that they should never impinge on our commitment to client families.

“We will ensure that the needs of grieving families always come first.”