Victoria to enter week-long lockdown, putting concerts and RISING festival on hold

The lockdown begins from 11:59pm tonight, May 27

A slew of concerts, and the inaugural RISING festival, have been put on ice as Victoria enters a snap lockdown due to a surge in coronavirus cases.

Acting Premier James Merlino made the announcement earlier today (May 27), as the state of Victoria noted 12 new cases in the 24 hours leading up to midnight. There are currently 34 known active cases in the state.

The lockdown will be in effect from 11:59pm tonight, and remain in place until 11:59pm on Thursday June 3.


“The vaccine rollout has been slower than we hoped…” Merlino said during a press conference.

“If more people were vaccinated we might be facing a very different set of circumstances than we are today.

“If we make the wrong choice now, this thing will get away from us.”

People can only leave the home for five reasons, according to ABC:

  • Food and supplies
  • Authorised work
  • Care and caregiving
  • Exercise for up to 2 hours with one other person
  • Getting vaccinated

The lockdown has meant that a string of forthcoming concerts, including those of BUGS, Ngaiire, Regurgitator, Sly Withers, Crooked Colours and more, will not be able to go ahead.


Chasing Ghosts were also set play a show tomorrow night (May 28) in alignment with Reconciliation Week.

RISING festival has issued a statement confirming that the festival will be put on “pause”. All events from 5pm today (May 27) until June 4 will be cancelled, with refunds issued to all ticketholders.

Julia Jacklin, Kee’ahn, Marlon Williams, The Goon Sax, Gregor and more were all set to perform as part of the festival’s debut between now and and June 3.

The team behind RISING will make a decision on events between June 4 to 6 over the coming week.

“While today’s developments are devastating, we are buoyed by the sheer resilience of the staff and artists involved with RISING,” said co-artistic directors Hannah Fox and Gideon Obarzanek. “Together they created something that spoke to Melbourne; something beautiful and beguiling; something extraordinary, for extraordinary times. We could not be prouder.”

RISING kicked off last night with Augie March playing their debut album ‘Sunset Studies’ in full for its 20th anniversary.

Prior to the lockdown announcement, representatives for RISING Festival had revealed that they had been working with the state government and were permitted to go ahead as planned.

“Following two years of planning for every possible scenario that the world could throw our way—the bones of RISING has been built with public health and audience safety in mind, and ensuring the festival is a COVID-Safe environment,” a statement from the festival read.

This is just the latest snap lockdown to happen around the country throughout 2021 due to coronavirus outbreaks. Brisbane entered into a brief lockdown at the end of March, with an outbreak that eventually led to the cancellation of Bluesfest just one day before it was supposed to begin.

In April, Perth entered a three-day lockdown after a COVID case was infectious while in the community for five days. Earlier this month, tighter restrictions on singing and dancing were placed on the Greater Sydney area after the city noted two COVID cases, who contracted the virus within the community.