Formula 1 has cancelled “all activity” for the 2020 Australian Grand Prix, including all music performances, due to coronavirus concerns.
The inaugural live music AusGP Sessions event kicked off yesterday (March 12), and was set to run for four days until March 15. Electronic duo Peking Duk were scheduled to headline, with appearances by Client Liaison, Bag Raiders, CXLOE, Tigerlily and more. However, the remaining three days have been axed alongside the rest of the Australian Grand Prix.
Formula 1 pulled the plug early this morning (March 13), following the news on Thursday (March 12) that a member of the McLaren Racing team tested positive for COVID-19. The team pulled out from the event in the hours after.
F1 and international motoring organization Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile subsequently “convened a meeting of the other nine team principals on Thursday evening”, the organisations noted in a joint statement with the Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC).
“Those discussions concluded with a majority view of the teams that the race should not go ahead. Formula 1 and the FIA, with the full support of the AGPC have therefore taken the decision that all Formula 1 activity for the Australian Grand Prix are cancelled.
“We appreciate this is very disappointing news for the thousands of fans due to attend the race and all ticket holders will receive a full refund and a further announcement will be communicated in due course.”
The organisations added that “all parties took into consideration the huge efforts” of staff and volunteers, however ultimately “concluded that the safety of all members of the Formula 1 family and the wider community, as well as the fairness of the competition take priority”. Read the full statement here.
The 2020 Australian Grand Prix was scheduled to kick off this weekend on Sunday, March 15 and was intended to be the first round of the 2020 Formula One World Championship. The first race of the year will instead take place in Sakhir, Bahrain on March 22. However, there will be no spectators at the event as a precaution due to COVID-19.
The 2020 Australian Grand Prix is the latest event to be affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Earlier today, Canberra festival Anthems pulled the plug on their 2020 edition and Download Australia also cancelled after headliners My Chemical Romance withdrew from the event.
The Australian government has also been advised to ban mass gatherings of over 500 people to inhibit the spread of the coronavirus. They are expected to address the media later today.