Professor Brett Sutton, the Chief Medical Officer for Victoria, has signalled a return to normality for the music industry by October if all goes to plan.
Speaking to Dr Sally Cockburn on radio station 3AW, Professor Sutton said, “October is an eternity away and I think you can say if all goes in the direction we have been travelling the last few months or so we will be in a really good place and large outdoor events will be on the cards. That has the caveat ‘if that remains the case’. I would hate for plans to be locked in and a really significant investment to be made for a date and it may all go astray. We are going in the right direction but it may not remain that way”.
Professor Sutton told Dr Cockburn that there are some indicators we still need to see happen before he can declare ‘business as usual’. “We are definitely aiming for very low levels of transmission or the complete snuffing out of transmission. We have seen that in parts of Australia already and I think I can say with some confidence that they can hold that. That’s what I want to say for Victoria. If we get to August or September and there is no community transmission happening across the country then we should be confident of October but we are not there yet”.
Promoter Duane McDonald has three Red Hot Summer shows rescheduled for October. Professor Sutton’s comments gave him confidence that the shows will happen. “It was the first time we had heard of anything asked of the industry,” Duane tells Sally Cockburn on 3AW. “Every other industry sector has been covered in press conferences but no-one has ever asked when a timeline will be put in place. It was great to hear from him”.
Professor Sutton’s comments also give the music industry in Victoria some direction or a return to normality. Duane commented, “We moved three shows to October thinking the pandemic would last six months. 90% of the people have held onto their tickets hoping it would go ahead. Much of the music industry hasn’t had any guidelines to say ‘best case/worse case’ scenario. Every other sector has had some sort of definition”.