News December 3, 2020

NSW increasing patron capacity for music events from Monday

NSW increasing patron capacity for music events from Monday

Music venues and festivals are breathing a sigh of relief this week.

From December 7, the dismantling of some COVID restrictions will allow more patrons in.

The 4sqm rule will be replaced with the 2sqm rule, except at nightclubs where a maximum of 50 people will be allowed on the dancefloor.

Patrons of hospitality venues can stand and drink outdoors, but not indoors.

Outdoor stadiums and theatres now get 100% seated capacity and the one person per 2sqm rule for unstructured seating areas.

Indoor stadiums and theatres get a 75% seated capacity and 100 people at outdoor gatherings.

Up to 5,000 people can attend outdoor events that are fenced, ticketed and seated.

This could mean the introduction of new festivals, as announced in three other states this week.

Secret Sounds, Five Four Entertainment and Groove teamed up for 18 shows between December 30 and January 30 at Adelaide’s Bonython Park under the Summer Sounds Festival banner.

The inaugural Inverted Festival stages before 20,000 at the Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast on May 1, promoted by Second Sunday, TEG Van Egmond and Major Events Gold Coast.

Red Hill Entertainment’s Aidan and Rhett McLaren, who are behind The Hills Are Alive and NYE on the Hill festivals, debut the Gippsland Country Music Festival in country Victoria on April 24.

But the festival sector said that the inability to get insurance protection remains a barrier – one which it is in negotiation with, with the government.

State treasurer Dominic Perrottet said under the changes most venues will be able to double their capacity, which will have an immediate and substantial impact on the economy.

“This change will make a big difference to many businesses and will provide a real boost for jobs particularly in the service industry which has been hit hard over the past nine months,” he said.

He added he was informed by venues that Monday’s change means 9,000 new jobs in the state.

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