WA Government extends ban on music festivals to October

Premier Mark McGowan said "proceeding to Phase Five too soon is just not appropriate"

The West Australian Government has pushed back the removal of almost all its gathering restrictions once again, affecting how the state’s recovering arts and entertainment scene can operate.

Western Australia is currently in Phase Four of its COVID-19 roadmap, and has been since late June. Phase Four sees the removal of all existing gathering restrictions removed, assuming a two square metre rule is still in place. Unseated performances at venues are permitted under Phase Four but music festivals remain prohibited. Events taking place at major stadiums are capped at a 50 per cent capacity.

Phase Five “would see remaining restrictions removed, except WA’s hard border and access to remote Aboriginal communities”, meaning music festivals would tentatively be given the green light. It also would remove the caps on stadium events, paving the way for larger concerts to take place.


After being postponed from July 17 to August 15, then again to August 29, WA Premier Mark McGowan has announced Phase Five will now tentatively be implemented from October 24.

“Given the situation over east and our latest health advice, proceeding to Phase Five too soon is just not appropriate,” McGowan said in a statement.

“I know this will cause frustration and problems for some sections of the community, but we are trying to find the right balance here, between protecting our community and keeping our economy as open as possible.”

Earlier this month, a handful of West Australian artists were announced for the Wave Rock Weekender camping festival, set to take place this September. The festival would have been running under Phase Five conditions, which permits music festivals. It is now unclear in what form the event will take place.

“The festival is making extra room to ensure it can run in either Phase Four or Phase Five restrictions safely and to make sure it can maximise the feelings and frivolity that the festival is known for,” festival organisers said in a statement at the time of the lineup announcement.