Bluesfest organisers have revealed the festival will revert to its regular five-day format when the rescheduled festival returns in April 2022.
The news comes in response to the NSW Government releasing further details around its roadmap out of coronavirus restrictions in the state on Monday (September 27). Premier Gladys Berejiklian indicated a return to “COVID-normal” conditions on December 1, when it is expected that 90 per cent of residents will be fully vaccinated.
In a statement, festival director Peter Noble said Bluesfest 2022 would now kick off on Thursday April 14 (instead of Friday April 15 as previously announced) and run until Monday April 18. An opening night event titled ‘Thursdaze’ will launch festivities with a line-up curated by Noble himself.
The opening night will also feature an “all-Indigenous component”, an evening of performances curated by a “legend of the Australian music industry”, performances by some of “classic” Australian bands reuniting specifically for the occasion and more.
“How incredible it was to hear, not only for Bluesfest but for the entire music industry, the NSW Premier’s announcement earlier this week of the roadmap moving forward, the easing of restrictions, and the re-opening of the economy. It’s been a really tough journey for all of us in these times, and finally to see the way ahead feels like Christmas has come early,” Noble said in his statement.
Noble went on to say that organisers will work closely with the NSW Department of Health between now and next year’s event in order to develop a COVID-19 safety plan for the festival, with more details to be announced as they come to light.
“The NSW Premier’s announcement leads us to believe that it will be quite different from what we may have originally expected,” Noble continued. “By that we mean it will be much closer to a normal Bluesfest after all!
“We suspect, based on the NSW Premier’s statement on Monday, that entry conditions may differ for those who choose to remain unvaccinated than for those fully vaccinated, but those details are not clear yet. What truly matters is that we will be in a position to present to EVERYONE, and that the world is opening up again!”
Bluesfest was cancelled for the second year in a row back in March of this year, just one day before it was planned to commence. It was rescheduled for October before the 2021 edition was scrapped entirely.
Many of the artists who were booked to perform at the 2021 event will remain on the bill for next year’s edition, with Midnight Oil, Paul Kelly and Jimmy Barnes set to headline the festival. Other acts confirmed on the bill include Fat Freddy’s Drop, John Butler, Xavier Rudd and Pete Murray.