Byron Bay Bluesfest has been given the green light to go ahead in 2021, providing shit doesn’t hit the fan with COVID between now and then.
“The NSW Government has indicated that, if the current COVID-19 situation continues in NSW, Bluesfest would be permitted to proceed, following our comprehensive COVID-19 safety plan,” festie boss Peter Noble said in a statement today.
“This is a great day, not only for Bluesfest, but also for the Australian Live Music Industry and our unrelenting efforts to get back to presenting Live Music Safely.”
While the exact details of Bluesfest’s COVID safety plan have yet to be unveiled, Noble has confirmed that this year’s event will be fully seated, while face masks will not be mandatory. And if all goes well, the fest will mark the biggest music event in Australia since the pandemic first reared its ugly head.
His statement continues:
“Whilst our capacity, stages and campgrounds will be approximately 50% of the numbers we have had in the past, it is great to know there is a future for our industry, and that we have been given the opportunity to present Bluesfest 2021 at a level not seen at festivals in Australia since the summer of 2019/20.
We were heartbroken after last year’s cancellation three weeks out from the festival, due to NSW government orders. However, our resolve to present our beloved, multi award-winning festival resulted in our commencing work with Riskworks to create a COVID-19 Safety Plan in May of 2020. We first lodged it with government in August and have continued to refine the plan since that time.
We have worked closely with NSW Health in developing the plan and are extremely thankful for their ongoing advice. Certainly, the NSW Events Task Force and the offices of Stuart Ayres, Minister for Tourism and Major Events NSW; John Barilaro, the Deputy Premier NSW; Ben Franklin, NSW Parliamentary Secretary for the Arts; the office of Don Harwin, NSW Minister for the Arts and Paul Fletcher, Federal Minister for the Arts are to be commended for working closely with us on a weekly basis to achieve this milestone result for the music loving people of Australia.
We will be inspecting the 150-page COVID-19 Safety Plan in depth and will make a further announcement on how Bluesfest will be presented in a safe manner next week. What we can say is that the plan is created in a way where we can adapt to the requirements of the NSW Health Department should there be a need to create higher levels of safety for the public on site, and, of course, we are also hopeful, that conditions will be further relaxed should there be no further community transmissions.
…The good news is you won’t need to wear a mask currently whilst attending. We are looking forward to seeing your smiling faces as you experience the best in Australian music at an outdoor fully seated event.
There are so many people to thank who took part in working with us in getting to this point.
The artists and their agents and managers, the media for their ongoing support, our suppliers and of course the Bluesfest Team who never wavered, well … only sometimes, in their conviction to produce Bluesfest at Easter (April 1-5) this year. But number one is, our gratitude to the music fans, who purchased the tickets from the moment we went on sale and who will join us in making history as major live music events return in Australia.
Let’s bring back the music!”
It comes after Bluesfest pulled all the international artists from its 2021 lineup amid the constant and everchanging state border closures across the nation.
Bluesfest 2021 is set to take place at its usual home of Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm in Byron Bay next year between the 1st-5th April, with a lineup that includes the likes of Jimmy Barnes, Tash Sultana, Ocean Alley, The Teskey Brothers and many more.
In today’s statement, Noble also confirmed the event is currently 80% sold out, so better grab your tickets quick-smart.
Bluesfest 2021 Lineup
TEX PERKINS THE MAN IN BLACK
ASH GRUNWALD & JOSH TESKEY
VIKA & LINDA
The Living End
Ross Wilson And The Peaceniks
Blue King Brown
Mama Kin Spender
All Our Exes Live In Texas
The Teskey Brothers
The Cat Empire
The Black Sorrows
Melbourne Ska Orchestra
Harts Plays Hendrix
Mick Thomas’ Roving Commission
Pacey, King & Doley
Bluesfest Busking Competition & Winners
The Australian Americana Music Honours