The Newcastle leg of music festival Lunar Electric has been cancelled under public health order as the area grapples with a dramatic spike in COVID-19 cases.
However, a large number of cases of COVID-19 have emerged in the Newcastle area since a cluster formed at The Argyle House, a nightclub, on December 8. Over 200 cases have been linked to the nightclub, with a large number of them suspected to be the Omicron variant.
Today (December 16), the NSW state government cancelled Lunar Electric under a public health order, the first festival to be axed under these circumstances since lockdown restrictions had lifted.
“NSW Health considered that the ongoing spread of COVID-19 in the Newcastle area,
where the majority of a record number of cases are the Omicron variant of concern, presents too great a risk for the festival to take place this weekend,” a statement given in a press release read.
NSW Health say they advised Lunar Electric of the cancellation earlier this afternoon (December 16). In a statement on Instagram, representatives for the festival said they had “done everything we could, and followed all government directives in the lead up to this event”. They also stated that they’ll be making information regarding refunds available soon.
In the festival’s terms and conditions, it states that “In the event that the festival cannot go ahead on due to Covid 19 restrictions being enforced that do not permit large gatherings of this nature, the festival will be rescheduled.”
In addition, the T&Cs also state that “all tickets will be valid for the rescheduled show.”
As recent as yesterday (December 15), representatives of the festival said on Instagram it would still go ahead despite the outbreak. They said they would be taking extra precautions, including rapid testing anyone who displayed symptoms of the virus.
The comment section of said Instagram post was flooded with punters advising that the festival be postponed in light of the outbreak, and stating that refunds should be given to those who have been directed to isolate by NSW Health or just don’t want to risk contracting the virus by attending.
Newcastle was the first stop of the festival’s five-leg run. It will then take on Gold Coast, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney in March and April 2022.