Bluesfest to go ahead following approval of its COVID-19 safety plan
Bluesfest is set to go ahead in April of this year in Byron Bay in New South Wales, with organisers striking a deal with the NSW Government.
The approval of Bluesfest’s comprehensive safety plan has given the festival the green light, however it is contingent on the state’s COVID-19 situation remaining stable.
The festival’s capacity, stages and campgrounds will hover around 50% of the numbers it has facilitated in the past. It will be an all-Australian lineup, which will play at the purpose-built event site, and the audience will be seated.
The event has already sold 80% of its tickets, with the festival flagging Friday 2, Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 April are expected to sell out completely.
Bluesfest’s festival director and chairman of the Bluesfest Group of companies, Peter Noble, said the agreement is a testament to the artists and their agents and managers, the media, suppliers, the Bluesfest team and music fans, who all remained committed to the festival going ahead.
“This is a great day, not only for Bluesfest, but also for the Australian live music industry and our unrelenting efforts to get back to presenting live music safely,” he said.
Noble said the “good news” is, as it currently stands, punters won’t have to wear masks while attending.
“We are looking forward to seeing your smiling faces as you experience the best in Australian music at an outdoor fully-seated event,” he said.
“Let’s bring back the music.”
The festival did not go ahead in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has since been forced to pay out $90,000 to some stallholders following a convoluted legal battle.
Noble has previously called on the media to be more supportive of the industry as it battles the COVID-19 crisis, as well as urging the Government to provide more financial support.
Noble said for the 2021 event, the organisers had worked closely with NSW Health, NSW Events Task Force and the offices of Stuart Ayres (Minister for Tourism and Major Events NSW), John Barilaro (Deputy NSW Premier), Ben Franklin (NSW Parliamentary Secretary for the Arts), Don Harwin (NSW Minister for the Arts), and Paul Fletcher (Federal Minister for the Arts) – all of whom should be commended.