Ballina MP Tamara Smith has warned Byron Bay Bluesfest may be postponed due to a growing coronavirus scare in the region.
Bluesfest is due to start on Thursday, with a maximum capacity of 16,500 people per day, who are required to be seated.
The State MP’s warning came shortly after the festival posted an ominious update to it’s Twitter account.
One case of community transmission was reported in Byron Bay on Wednesday after a nurse and her sister, who were later found to be positive, visited the region for a hens weekend.
At least five guests and a “male entertainer” who attended the party have since tested positive to coronavirus.
Smith said she could not see Bluesfest going ahead given the region will be placed into soft lockdown.
“If you are saying to households you can have 30 people in your house and you need to follow a four-square metre rule, I do not understand how a festival with tens of thousands of people, how those two things stack up,” she told the ABC.
On Tuesday, Bluesfest 2021 released a statement confirming the festival will still go ahead.
Stay tuned because, things could change.
Is Bluesfest still happening?
Yes. Bluesfest is still on this weekend.
But given the ever-changing nature of the pandemic this could change in the coming days.
Festival Director, Peter Noble has been in contact with NSW Health and spoken with NSW Health Minister, Brad Hazzard. They expect further updates during the week.
“We are in continuous conversation with NSW Health and are committed to providing patron, artist, and staff safety at all times when visiting Bluesfest. This is our biggest priority, and we will keep you updated,” Bluesfest said in a statement.
Can I still go if I’m from the greater Brisbane region?
No, but maybe later.
You won’t be permitted entry on Thursday April 1 as the Brisbane lockdown doesn’t end until 5pm that day. The lockdowns currently affect the council areas of Brisbane, Ipswich, Moreton Bay, Logan, and Redlands.
If borders between QLD and NSW remain open you should be able to attend the other four days of the festival.
If borders close of course you will not be able to attend the festival.
Should the lockdown extend, you will not be able to attend Bluesfest any days that the lockdown remains.
The message from Brad Hazzard is pretty clear: “To the people of Brisbane who might have bought tickets to come to Bluesfest, do not come!”
Arrangements are being put in place for refunds.
Have any of my favourite artists pulled out?
The acts are full steam ahead, looks like we’re ready for a killer opening night at Bluesfest 2021.
See the full Bluesfest 2021 lineup here.
What are the rules?
In order to keep everyone safe and Bluesfest 2021 running smoothly here’s what you need to do.
- Do not attend the event if you show any symptoms of COVID-19
- Sign in to the Service NSW QR code
- Stay socially distanced at all times
- Stay in your designated zone
- Sign in to your designed zone daily
- Stay seated during performances
- Wash hands and use sanitiser
- Avoid co-mingling with other patrons
- For campers, stay in your designated camp areas
- Follow the direction of Bluesfest Staff and COVID-19 marshals