WA’s Origin Fields cancelled, organisers condemn government for still permitting horse race

"Frustrating to see that horse racing and gambling takes precedence over the arts in this state"

This year’s edition of the Perth festival Origin Fields has been cancelled due to new, short-term COVID-19 restrictions.

A small amount of positive cases in WA have meant the state will be under mask and hospitality restrictions until at least January 4. This has meant the closure of nightclubs, as well as the cancellation of music festivals.

In a statement, organisers for Origin Fields – which was set to last two days kicking off on December 31 – said they’ve “never endured anything like this” in 15 years of hosting the festival.

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“Well it seems that the opportunity to hold our event has once again slipped through our fingers,” the statement read.

Artists that were set to play the 5,000-capacity event included Pendulum, ShockOne and more. Despite the restrictions, the Perth Cup horse race has been given the green light to go forth on January 1. All attendees of the race must be fully vaccinated.

“Our approvals were in place, our site is already half built and no expenses has been spared but we understand that public safety has to come first,” Origin Fields’ statement continued.

“It (sic) just frustrating to see that horse racing and gambling takes precedence over the arts in this state and there’s no real nice way to frame that.”

Well it seems that the opportunity to hold our event has once again slipped through our fingers.In the 15 years of…

Posted by Origin Fields on Sunday, December 26, 2021

This isn’t the first time the comparison between governmental treatment live music and sports has been raised throughout the pandemic. In April, Spacey Jane, who hail from WA, had to postpone a concert at Brisbane’s Riverstage due to COVID-19 restrictions earlier this year.

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“It’s a shame we’re not a footy team, or this wouldn’t be a problem..” the band wrote at the time.

Other festivals throughout December have had to be cancelled due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, including Newcastle’s Lunar Electric and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard‘s own Timeland festival.

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