Midnight Oil cancel shows after Peter Garrett tests positive for COVID-19

Gigs in Darwin and Cairns have been axed from their final Australian tour

Midnight Oil have cancelled two of the shows on their ‘Resist’ tour – currently underway as the band’s last-ever full run of the country – after frontman Peter Garrett tested positive for COVID-19.

The band confirmed Garrett’s diagnosis in a post shared to their socials on Saturday morning (April 2), just hours before they were due to hit the stage at the Darwin Amphitheatre. That show was cancelled as a result, while a second date – slated for this Wednesday (April 6) at the Cairns Convention Centre, with King Stingray booked to open – has also been axed.

Ticketholders will be automatically refunded for both shows. At the time of writing, there is no indication that Midnight Oil plan to rebook them, though they plan to pick the tour back up this Saturday (April 9) – when they play the Sunshine Coast Stadium alongside Goanna and Jack River – after Garrett completes his mandated seven days in isolation.

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“Despite returning negative RATs,” the band wrote in their statement, “frontman Peter Garrett returned a positive PCR test late last night after experiencing flu-like symptoms so he now needs to remain in isolation for seven days. The band deeply regrets that these shows will be unable to proceed and sincerely apologise to all their NT and NQ fans who will be inconvenienced.”

Midnight Oil are profoundly disappointed to announce that tonight’s show in Darwin and Wednesday’s show in Cairns have…

Posted by Midnight Oil on Friday, April 1, 2022

The unfortunate news came a day after Midnight Oil postponed the New Zealand leg of their ‘Resist’ tour, which was supposed to take place next month, due to current COVID-19 restrictions. New dates have been locked in for Christchurch, Auckland and Wellington this September.

The band are on track to wrap the Australian leg of the ‘Resist’ tour up this month; following this Saturday’s show on the Sunshine Coast, they’ll take to stages in Brisbane (with support from Busby Marou), Canberra (with Jack River and Emily Wurramara) and Sydney (with King Stingray).

A rescheduled show in WA – taking place at the Nikola Estate in Swan Valley, with Goanna and Stephen Pilgrim booked to open – will also go down on September 25. The show was initially said to be cancelled due to the state’s expanded COVID-19 restrictions, but was added back to their itinerary following a boost to the government’s Getting The Show Back On The Road+ initiative.

Though the ‘Resist’ tour is being advertised as Midnight Oil’s last, the band have stressed that they have no plans to break up. According to a press release, all members of the band “remain open” to working together and recording new music in the future, as well as uniting to support causes that they believe in.

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Released back in February, ‘Resist’ – the band’s 13th album, flanked by the singles ‘Rising Seas’ and ‘Tarkine’ – comprises songs that Midnight Oil recorded with late bassist Bones Hillman, who passed away the same week that their 2020 album, ‘The Makarrata Project’, was released. The two albums were recorded concurrently.

NME dubbed ‘Resist’ one of the top Australian releases for the month of February, with writer Alex Gallagher saying: “Four-and-a-half decades after releasing their debut LP, Midnight Oil’s 13th studio album is as striking and incendiary as anything from their catalogue, at a time when it’s most needed.”

Following the album’s release, and subsequent debut at Number One on the ARIA Albums Chart, the band hit out at a perceived lack of support for their fellow Australians in the music industry.

“We’re shocked that INXS and ourselves are among only five Australian artists with Top 40 albums this week,” they said in a statement, calling on the federal government to “introduce better local content rules – and better enforcement of those rules – across all platforms to make sure that the next generation of local artists get a fair go”.

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