Bluesfest has confirmed their 2021 event will still be going ahead, after the NSW Government approved its COVID-19 safety plan.
In a statement released today (February 17), festival director Peter Noble said that the event’s 150-page COVID-19 safety plan has allowed them to go forward as long as the coronavirus situation in NSW doesn’t worsen. The festival is currently scheduled for April 1-5 in Byron Bay.
“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,” Noble said in a press statement.
He noted that this year’s festival, sporting an all-Australian lineup with the likes of Jimmy Barnes, Tash Sultana, Ocean Alley and more, will run at 50 per cent capacity as opposed to usual years, extending across grounds, stages and campsites.
“[I]t is great to know there is a future for our industry,” he continued, “and that we have been given the opportunity to present Bluesfest 2021 at a level not seen at festivals in Australia since the summer of 2019/20.”
Noble also said that, as of right now, punters will not be required to wear masks at the outdoor seated event, and more information on how the event will operate in 2021 will be made public next week.
“What we can say is that the plan is created in a way where we can adapt to the requirements of the NSW Health Department should there be a need to create higher levels of safety for the public on site, and, of course, we are also hopeful, that conditions will be further relaxed should there be no further community transmissions.”
Yesterday (February 16), NSW recorded its 30th consecutive day without any cases of local transmission of the virus, marking the longest streak of no local cases since the pandemic began.
Bluesfest’s 2020 event was cancelled just three weeks out from when it was supposed to take place. International acts who were on that lineup, including Patti Smith, George Benson and more, recently had their sideshows postponed to April 2022.