Promoters pitch Under The Southern Stars as prototype for COVID safe plan

Putting forward Under The Southern Stars to be the first "test case"

Australian concert promoters have unveiled the “COVID-Safe Road Map”, a plan which proposes guidelines that look to enable Australian touring by international artists to resume safely in the near future.

The initiative, spearheaded by Under The Southern Stars promoter Andrew McManus and TEG Live’s Geoff Jones, has volunteered the Under The Southern Stars festival as its first test subject.

McManus and Jones are reportedly lobbying Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Health Minister Greg Hunt and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton for support.

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In a press statement released today (July 7), promoters said the plan would “light the way for our colleagues allowing them to follow suit with clear guidelines to follow at their-future events and festivals”.

The plan outlines several steps to ensure safe touring, which include COVID testing for band members and essential staff as well as mandatory quarantine periods of 14 days for international acts entering Australia.

The plan would also require festivals to hire an Australian touring crew, and ensure that attendance does not exceed 70 percent of any venue’s total capacity. Festival patrons would also need to download the COVID-Safe app prior to entry.

If the plan were adopted, Under The Southern Stars (UTSS) would be the first festival to feature international artists since coronavirus restrictions were implemented in March of this year.

Andrew McManus said of the plan, “We want to be part of the solution, not part of the COVID problem. We want to work with [the] government at all levels, federal, state and local to formulate a plan that can get our industry off its knees.

“There needs to be a road map made, and we feel we can be a flag point for the industry to reopen its doors. If [UTSS] becomes a ‘test case,’ we will share the road map at no cost, to operate all future festivals in this country.”

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Under The Southern Stars recently announced its April tour had been postponed to February 2021. Alternating headliners are billed as Live, Stone Temple Pilots, Bush, with Aussie favourites Rose Tattoo and Electric Mary in support.

UTSS kicks off in Perth on Tuesday, February 16 before continuing on a ten-day national run. Find all tour details and more here.

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