The Bluesfest music festival in Byron Bay has been cancelled the day before it was due to begin.
With thousands of music fans from all over Australia already arriving in Byron the cancellation will be a huge blow to the community and the music industry.
The Bluesfest cancellation was made by the NSW Government. The Minister for Health Brad Hazzard has signed a public order cancelling the event over Easter. Hazzard announced, “While the cancellation of Bluesfest is disappointing for music lovers and the local community, I hope that ticket holders would support Bluesfest and hold on to their tickets as I understand Bluesfest will be working on a new date as soon as possible.”
Bluesfest 2021 was an all-Australian event this year because of Covid. International acts from the cancelled 2020 event have been rescheduled into 2022.
Jimmy Barnes was headlining this year’s Bluesfest with a line-up including Tash Sultana, Mark Seymour, Pete Murray, The Teskey Brothers, Ocean Alley, Xavier Rudd, Black Sorrows, Ian Moss, Ross Wilson, Tex Perkins, The Waifs, Kasey Chambers, Kate Ceberano, The Church, Jon Stevens, The Angels, The Living End, Ian Moss and more.
The full announcement from NSW Health
NSW Health advises that the Minister for Health has signed a public health order cancelling the planned Bluesfest over the Easter period.
This action is being taken to minimise the risk of the highly infectious COVID-19 variant of concern being transmitted in the local area, as well as across states and territories.
Infectious Queensland travellers attended a number of venues in the Byron Bay area and the new locally acquired case was infected at one of these venues.
NSW Health acknowledges that the cancellation of Bluesfest is disappointing for ticket holders and event organisers, however while urgent investigations and contact tracing are ongoing, NSW Health is adopting a cautious approach to keep everyone safe.
NSW Health wishes to acknowledge the outstanding cooperation of Mr Peter Noble and his organising team, who were working hard to ensure Bluesfest would be conducted in a COVID-safe manner.
Minister for Health Brad Hazzard said: “While the cancellation of Bluesfest is disappointing for music lovers and the local community, I hope that ticket holders would support Bluesfest and hold on to their tickets as I understand Bluesfest will be working on a new date as soon as possible.”
As of 5pm today, the following rules will apply to the local government areas of Tweed Shire Council, Ballina Shire Council, Byron Shire Council and Lismore City Council:
Mask wearing will become compulsory on public transport, in retail stores, and in all public indoor settings
the one person per 4 square metre rule will apply at all public indoor settings including hospitality venues
the number of household visitors will be capped at 30 including holiday rental properties.
These restrictions will remain in place until 11:59pm on Monday 5 April, when the community will be updated.
NSW Health urges everyone in NSW, especially in the Tweed, Ballina, Byron and Lismore areas, with even the mildest symptoms, such as headache, fatigue, cough, sore throat or runny nose, to come forward immediately for testing, then isolate until they receive a negative result.
Testing clinics are available at the following Northern NSW locations:
Byron Bay QML Pathology Drive-Through, Cavanbah Sports Ground, 249 Ewingsdale Rd, Byron Bay. Open from 8am to 8pm Monday – Sunday. No referral required.
Byron Bay Walk-in Pop-Up Clinic; Byron Bay surf club, Bay St, Byron Bay. Open from 9am – 5pm. No appointment required.
Lennox Head QML Pathology Drive-through clinic, Lennox Community Centre, Cnr Park Lane and Mackney Lane, 8am – 8pm Monday – Sunday. No GP referral required.
Tweed Heads QML Pathology Drive-through clinic, Cnr Wharf and Florence Street, Tweed Heads, 8am – 8pm Monday -Sunday. No GP referral required.
Lismore QML Pathology Drive – through clinic, 354 Keen Street, Lismore. Open from 8am – 7pm, Monday – Sunday.
There are more than 350 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW, many of which are open seven days a week.
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