Bluesfest organisers “not confident” October festival will proceed

"A reschedule of our October event is becoming ever more likely," organisers said in an email

Bluesfest organisers have told ticketholders they’re “not confident” October’s festival will proceed in light of the current COVID-19 situation in New South Wales.

In an email sent to attendees, and reported by The Music, Bluesfest organisers said it was too early to make a call on whether the event should be postponed for the second time this year.

“The COVID-situation in NSW is at large, once again. This time with a strain that has increasingly been more difficult for state governments to contain. And as the clusters begin to pop up in more places and continue to grow exponentially, a reschedule of our October event is becoming ever more likely,” the email reads.

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“We know you’re hungry for a festival and for live music – nothing can replace it… and the last thing we want to do is reschedule. However with the current situation, we are not confident that we can deliver a safe and successful event in October – and, in the end, that’s the bottom line.

“We’re not giving up – we want to put on Bluesfest SO BAD! But we cannot until we know that we can achieve this at a standard worth presenting.”

Bluesfest’s 2021 festival was cancelled a day out from its commencement in April. It managed to reschedule to October, taking place over four days instead of its usual five. The line-up includes Midnight Oil, Paul Kelly, Jimmy Barnes, Tash Sultana and many more acts.

The letter to ticketholders comes days after Bluesfest published its annual economic impact assessment report, which recorded a lost total economic output of $181.2million.

“We were heartbroken when we first got cancelled in 2020, but the last-minute cancellation in 2021 was catastrophic,” festival director Peter Noble said in a statement accompanying the report.

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“Our entire industry was traumatised, yet we picked up the pieces, put ourselves back together, paid our bills, including significant payments to the cancelled artists and still delivered major numbers to the economy of New South Wales in economic output and job creation.”

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