Byron Bay Bluesfest organisers have confirmed that this year’s event will still go ahead next month, despite the festival site experiencing flash flooding late last month and again this week.
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“Some car parks and camping grounds did experience flash flooding but the water is subsiding quickly,” festival director Peter Noble commented in a statement earlier today (March 31).
Noble added that crew are continuing to load in to the festival site at Byron Events Farm (formerly known as Tyagarah Tea Farm), and that with substantial sun forecast over the coming weeks, organisers are optimistic the grounds will dry out and be ready for visitors by the time Bluesfest commences on April 14.
Heavy flooding has been impacting New South Wales’ Northern Rivers region again in recent days, just weeks after severe weather conditions impacted the area in late February, prompting many artists and organisations to initiate flood relief fundraisers.
At the time, Noble commented that while the Bluesfest site had been inundated, there had been no major damage as a result.
“Here at Bluesfest, we will be focusing on supporting musicians in our region who have lost their ability to make a living, playing music,” Noble said earlier this month. “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.
“If we can implore you to do one thing, do not let what is occurring stop you from coming to our region. It needs you. 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 accommodation, and taking part in all the other things our region has to offer, you will be helping so many people get through this time.”
There has also been significant flooding in other parts of Australia this year, including in South East Queensland, and recently the South Coast of NSW.
Wollongong festival Yours & Owls, which was scheduled to take place this weekend with a line-up that included Peking Duk, Hilltop Hoods, Violent Soho, Luca Brasi and many more, was cancelled on Tuesday (March 29).
“With the amount of water that has landed on Stuart Park in the past few weeks, the flash flooding we experienced in The Gong over the weekend and the forecast for the rest of this week, we simply cannot safely execute this year’s event,” organisers commented in a statement announcing the festival’s cancellation.
Bluesfest is set to run between April 14 and 18, featuring the likes of Midnight Oil, Paul Kelly, Crowded House, Jimmy Barnes, Amy Shark, The Cat Empire, George Benson, The Teskey Brothers and many more.
Next month’s event will mark the first time Bluesfest has run since 2019, after COVID-19 and subsequent restrictions resulted in multiple postponements and cancellations for the festival over the past two years.