Bluesfest ‘heartbroken’ by COVID-19 transmission & event cancellation
The festival’s director, Peter Noble – who has been at the forefront of a push for the return of live music, as well as for the industry, government and media to be more positive and supportive – said it was one of the most difficult statements he’d ever had to make.
“We really wanted to be at the forefront of the return of live music at pre-COVID-19 level,” he said.
“We feel deeply for everybody affected – the fans, the artists and the hard-working Bluesfest team. But in the end, the health of our community myst come first.”
The NSW Health Minister, Brad Hazzard, signed a public health order yesterday afternoon saying the event could not go ahead. The last-minute decision came after community transmission of COVID-19 in Queensland spread to the Byron Bay area.
“We are heartbroken that COVID-19 has spread into our local community,” Bluesfest said of its second cancellation in a row.
The festival said it had been working day and night for a year to achieve its COVID-19 Safety Plan, which had previously been approved by the New South Wales Government. It said the Government had previously praised the festival’s plans for exceeding other major sporting events in its depth and ability to protect the public.
Noble also urged patrons to hang onto their tickets and avoid the would-be event’s site.
“We will be having discussions regarding Bluesfest postponement and will update everybody soon,” he said. “However, this weekend, we will be packing down the event that was cancelled within 24 hours of gates due to open.
“Please do not come to the festival site.
“To all ticket buyers and music fans, we are hoping that you support the festival and hold tickets to the rescheduled event.”
Moshtix will be in touch with patrons once Bluesfest has decided how to proceed.
Brisbane, which was the initial site of this latest outbreak, has just had its snap lockdown lifted. Queensland Premier Annastasia Palaszczuk has just announced it will finish at noon, Brisbane time.