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Cub Sport were initially due to headline the festival, but are no longer able to appear due to border restrictions between their native Queensland and Victoria (where Ability Fest takes place). The same preventatives is what has led Sumner to back out, with the group unable to fly over from Tasmania.
Filling in the gaps left by Cub Sport and Sumner are synth-pop duo Confidence Man and R&E upstart KYE. Both acts join on the back of their huge new releases, with Confidence Man dropping the single ‘Holiday’ (and announcing their forthcoming second album, ‘TILT’) earlier this month, and KYE’s debut EP, ‘Good Company’, landing just last week.
The shift comes after it was announced in October that Lastlings and Ninajirachi would both join the line-up for Ability Fest 2021, replacing Eves Karydas and JK-47. Other acts set to appear on the day include Alex The Astronaut, Illy, Nina Las Vegas and What So Not, as well as a DJ set from Peking Duk.
The festival’s third edition is set to go down on Saturday November 27 at Melbourne’s Alexandra Gardens. It’ll be the first Ability Fest to take place at the new venue, moving from its former home of the Coburg Velodrome.
The annual event, spearheaded by Paralympic gold medalist Dylan Alcott, is branded as “Australia’s most accessible music festival”, with the site fitted with elevated viewing platforms, pathways, quiet zones, a designated sensory area, companion ticketing, ramps and Auslan interpreters for every act.
Second release tickets are still available from the festival’s website, with all funds earned from the event going directly to the Dylan Alcott Foundation.
With its first two editions in 2018 and 2019, the festival raised just under $500,000 for the charity. It skipped 2020 due to concerns surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, however a press release for Ability Fest 2021 claims it will operate in a COVID-safe capacity.