Under The Southern Stars festival pushed to 2022: “How many times can the Australian system force another postponement?”

The festival cited the last minute cancellation of Byron Bay Bluesfest as an example of the risk

Touring concert series Under The Southern Stars (UTSS) has postponed its events to 2022, marking its third rescheduling since its announcement in early 2020.

The decision was made, according to promoter Andrew McManus, due to the risk of “snap lockdowns, border closures and other knee-jerk reactions.” McManus cited the precedent of Byron Bay Bluesfest’s last-minute cancellation, which also caused the Gold Coast’s Inverted Festival to cancel as well.

The touring festival – headlined by Cheap Trick, Bush and Stone Temple Pilots – was set to begin next week on April 29. This was already its second postponement, after its 2020 event was pushed to February 2021.

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McManus issued a statement over the third postponement today (April 21) explaining the decision, criticising the government for he called “mismanagement of the COVID-19 situation at all levels of government.”

“We ask you all to continue to believe in us,” he said.

“We must protect our artists and patrons. We get it… how many times can the Australian system force another postponement?”

The festival asked patrons to hold onto their tickets, with the event set to go ahead in the first quarter of 2022 with new additions to the line-up.

In July last year, UTSS had pitched itself as a test case for how a festival could go ahead with a COVID Safe plan.

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UTSS’ postponement announcement follows Yours & Owls festival in Wollongong over the weekend becoming the first major music festival to go ahead since the beginning of the pandemic.

Punters at that festival were seated and separated in four quadrants, watching acts on a rotating stage. According to one report, some fans rushed to the front during some of the headliners’ performances to form a moshpit and subsequently forcing the music to stop until they returned to their seats. Winston Surfshirt reportedly lost 20 minutes of their set to social distancing stoppages.

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