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Australian PM advises ban on events over 500-cap.

Frontier- and Chugg-promoted concerts, Download Australia and World Tour Melbourne called off amid new government recommendations to tackle Covid-19

By Anna Grace on 13 Mar 2020

Australian PM advises ban on events over 500-cap.

Download Australia is among events to be cancelled

image © Download Australia/Facebook

Updated 18/3/20: Australian prime minister Scott Morrison announces a ban on “non-essential” indoor gatherings of more than 100 people, including “social activities and entertainment”, effective immediately.


The Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has advised against all “non-essential” mass gatherings of over 500 people, effective from Monday (16 March).

The announcement follows yesterday’s statement from organisers of Australian festival Byron Bay Bluesfest that the event was to go ahead as planned.

A statement released by the Bluesfest team reads: “We are now awaiting the official requirement from Federal and State authorities on Monday and will update you at that time.” Updated (16 March): Bluesfest executive chairman Peter Noble today issued a statement cancelling the festival, saying “it is obvious we will not be on this Easter. We are heartbroken as we believe we were presenting one of the best ever bills of talent for you.”

Leading Australian promoters Frontier Touring an Chugg Entertainment today issued a statement that “a number of concerts will no longer be able to proceed as scheduled”, including shows by Jimmy Eat World, Marc Rebillet, Kip Moore, Miranda Lambert and Seaforth.

“Frontier Touring and Chugg Entertainment are presently working with all artist teams to determine if dates can be rescheduled to late 2020 or early 2021,” reads the statement.

“For ticketholders, tickets will remain valid for rescheduled dates and they will be notified directly as soon as details of new dates are confirmed. Where concerts cannot be rescheduled a full refund will be available for all tickets purchased through official ticketing agencies.”

The promoters note that concerts by New Order, Gengahr and Julia Jacklin will proceed as scheduled over the weekend.

“Frontier Touring and Chugg Entertainment are presently working with all artist teams to determine if dates can be rescheduled to late 2020 or early 2021”

In Melbourne, Robbie Williams’ upcoming concert as part of TEG Dainty, Apollo World Touring and Westbrook Inc.’s World Tour series has also been called off, along with the Australian Grand Prix. The concert was to take place at the Lakeside Stadium within the Grand Prix racetrack on Saturday.

“We appreciate that this is very disappointing news for the fans due to attend the show and all ticket holders will receive a full refund and will be contacted by Ticketek shortly,” reads a statement from World Tour Melbourne and TEG Dainty.

The news follows the cancellation of Miley Cyrus’ World Tour Bushfire Relief show at the same venue earlier this week.

The Australian editions of Download Festival, set to take place in Sydney and Melbourne on 20 and 21 March, have also been cancelled.

Headliners My Chemical Romance pulled out of headline appearances at the festivals, as well as all other performances in Australia and New Zealand today, “given the current global situation”. The band have also cancelled upcoming tour dates in Japan.

“Given that this announcement has come barely eight days prior to Download Australia we will not be able to secure an alternative headliner as there is insufficient time to secure visas and arrange the other relevant logistics that are required prior to the festival,” reads a statement from organisers.

“As we are unable to deliver a complete line-up, we have very reluctantly made the decision to cancel Download Australia 2020″

“As we are unable to deliver a complete line-up to meet the standard that Download fans both expect and deserve, we have very reluctantly made the decision to cancel Download Australia 2020.”

The team says it is working with My Chemical Romance and fellow headliners Deftones “to schedule separate headline shows in Australia in 2020”, as well as with other Download acts to arrange “headline shows in Sydney and Melbourne next week”.

All ticketholders will receive a full refund via Moshtix.

In the wake of event cancellations, the Australian live performance industry has called on the government to supply a stimulus plan to support the business in the event of significant loss of trade.

“We believe it’s possible to design measures that are targeted, scalable and temporary in terms of their budgetary impact, and which could be lifted once the current public health crisis is resolved,” comments Live Performance Australia chief executive, Evelyn Richardson.

Read insurance brokers advice on navigating coronavirus-related event cancellations here.

The financials of a pandemic: Brokers talk coronavirus


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