Bluesfest to go ahead despite catastrophic flooding in NSW
Bluesfest’s organisers aren’t deterred by the floods currently ravaging the Northern Rivers region.
The music festival’s director, Peter Noble, put out a statement imploring attendees and those considering buying a ticket to the Easter event not to shy away from visiting the region.
“It needs you,” he said. “And a way of showing your support is by turning up. Our community needs to continue to work to get through this situation and beyond it.
“Just by coming to our region and showing support through buying food from businesses both at the festival, and locally in the area, staying in accomodation, and taking part in all the other things our region has to offer, you will be helping so many people get through this time.”
The event site in Byron Bay wasn’t immune from flood damage, he said, but the situation is already improving.
“The Bluesfest site was inundated, yet today, you would hardly know it,” Noble said. “Our office is open, and the event site where the music takes place got through unscathed, as did the campgrounds and carpark. There has been some damage, but nothing major.
“Compared to what has happened and is still happening in the areas surrounding, it is a miracle, and we feel very fortunate that we can continue to operate right now.”
Noble noted the importance of the sector getting back on its feet given the devastating impact of COVID-19 and lockdowns on live music.
“Here at Bluesfest, we will be focusing on supporting musicians in our region who have lost their ability to make a living, playing music.
“Right now, after two years of COVID already stopping their ability to play, it is all about getting them back and keeping the music playing.”
The event is due to take place from April 14 to 18 with the likes of Midnight Oil, Paul Kelly, Crowded House, Jimmy Barnes and Amy Shark on the bill.
The 2020 and 2021 editions of the festival were cancelled due to public health measures.
Noble said he hoped we’d never see a time like this again.
“Our region has been decimated by the floods – we have never seen anything like it. And God forbid we ever will again. Our hearts go out to so many of our neighbours and friends who have lost everything,” he said.
“We are a part of this community, and a lot of us are hurting – but we will continue,” he added.
This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.