Bluesfest cancelled following order from NSW Health
The 2021 iteration of the Byron Bay Bluesfest has been cancelled.
The news emerged this afternoon after ongoing uncertainty surrounding a COVID-19 outbreak which originated in Queensland and subsequently spread to the Byron Bay area.
Earlier this afternoon, Bluesfest let patrons know it was working through the issue and would have an update soon.
NSW Health, however, has since issued a statement saying Brad Hazzard, the state’s health minister, had signed a public health order cancelling the event.
The state government department said the dramatic move was necessary to minimise the risk of the highly infectious COVID-19 variant which was transmitted in the local area, and it needed to adopt a cautious approach to keep everyone safe.
It did, however, acknowledge that the cancellation of the event was “disappointing” for ticket holders and event organisers.
“While the cancellation of Bluesfest is disappointing for music lovers and the local community, I hope that ticket holders would support Bluesfest and hold on to their tickets, as I understand Bluesfest will be working on a new date as soon as possible,” Hazzard added.
From 5pm today, the Tweed Shire Council, Ballina Shire Council, Byron Shire Council and Lismore City Council will be subject to new restrictions including a cap on household visitors to 30 people, one person per four square metres at all public indoor settings (including hospitality), and mask wearing on public transport, retail stores and public indoor settings.
Bluesfest does not appear to have issued a statement yet, with the latest information on its website stating ‘It is still Bluesfest Week!’ Last month, the event had its COVID-19 safety plan approved by the NSW Government, however this was prior to the latest local outbreak.
The event was due to play host to Jimmy Barnes, Tash Sultana, Ocean Alley, Ziggy Alberts, The Teskey Brothers, John Butler, Xavier Rudd, The Cat Empire, Pete Murray, Kasey Chambers and many more local Australian artists.
Some campers could arrive on site from 10am today.
TMN has approached Bluesfest for comment.