Bluesfest 2021 is going ahead, lockdown creates headaches for Queenslanders
Bluesfest is going ahead, rain, hail or Queensland lockdown.
A snap, three-day lockdown began late Monday in Brisbane and surrounding areas, casting some doubt over the Easter weekend event.
Despite the unfortunate timing, the lockdown up north will not affect the action in Byron Bay. But there’s a tough call to make for travellers from the Sunshine State.
Based on advice from NSW Health and following talks between Festival Director Peter Noble and NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard, ticketholders from the Queensland lockdown zone can’t enter on the first day of Bluesfest, this Thursday, 1st April.
“We will keep ticket buyers from the affected area updated and advise them to check with the Queensland government to check regularly for updates on the current 3-day lockdown,” reads a statement from organisers.
The lockdown is due to lift late Thursday, and covers the council areas of Brisbane, Ipswich, Moreton Bay, Logan, and Redlands. Anything can change between now and then.
If you’ve come from a red zone, stay away. That’s the official advice.
“To the people of Brisbane who might have bought tickets to come to Bluesfest, do not come,” reads a statement from Hazzard’s office.
“Thursday is out of any question if you listened to what your government is saying. If the Government in Queensland extends the lockdown period, and we are not saying they will at this stage, but if they do, clearly people who have bought or are buying tickets from Brisbane are not welcome to attend the festival.”
Hazzard called on music fans who might have visited a hot spot to remain “cautious” and that arrangements are in place for refunds.
Festival organisers will share information as and when it comes.
“We are continuing to monitor the situation closely to ensure the event is COVID-safe,” reads a statement.
“We are in continuous conversation with NSW Health and are committed to provide patron, artist, and staff safety at all times, when visiting Bluesfest. This is our biggest priority, and we will keep you updated.”
Due to travel restrictions, Noble and his team booked an all-local lineup for Bluesfest 2021, featuring the likes of Jimmy Barnes, Tash Sultana, Ocean Alley, Ziggy Alberts, The Teskey Brothers and many more.
Several years in the planning, the 2020 edition of Bluesfest was all set to celebrate the east coast event’s 30th anniversary. But at the eleventh hour, it was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a situation which cost more than $203 million in lost revenue for the state of New South Wales, a report found.
Bluesfest 2021 will take place 1–5 April 2021 across five stages at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, just 10 minutes north of Byron Bay, NSW.
This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.