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Good Day Sunshine: ‘Covid-safe’ fest launches in Oz

The 5,000-capacity Good Day Sunshine festival will pilot a Covid-compliant format in Western Australia this October

By IQ on 18 Sep 2020

Western Australia-based promoter Macro Music has revealed a new ‘Covid-safe’ music festival format, set to debut at the forthcoming 5,000-capacity Good Day Sunshine festival in the city of Busselton in October.

Conceived by Macro Music CEO Ross Macpherson, the in-the-round format will see the event site split into four separate areas, each named after famous surf spots in the region – Cobblestones, Windmills, the Point and Injidup – with a revolving stage, the Turntable stage, in the centre.

The small capacity (1,250) of each area decreases the risk of disease transmission, lowers the numbers for contact tracing in the event of an outbreak and leaves plenty of space for attendees to observe current Western Australia (WA) social distancing rules of 2sqm per person, says Macro.

Each area will effectively operate as an individual event, with its own entry, exit and amenities, resulting in shorter wait times for bars, food outlets and loos. Large LED screens draping the stage will provide “perfect” vision at all times, according to organisers, while the static sound system will deliver consistent sound quality across the whole event site.

Festivalgoers must select their area in advance to ensure they can arrive with friends and family, and must remain in that area for the duration of the event.

“It will be great to have music events of a larger capacity rolling in Australia again”

Other safety innovations include:

  • Dedicated teams, led by a ‘Covid safety officer’, to top up hand-sanitiser stations and clean any shared facilities, including toilets, furniture and bar tops, throughout the day
  • Encouraging patrons to bring picnic blankets and low back chairs to create their own social bubbles within the event site
  • Contact tracing through the festival’s ticketing partners, who will collect contact details from all ticket buyers

“We are excited to roll out this format for Good Day Sunshine,” comments Macpherson. “It will be great to have music events of a larger capacity rolling in Australia again.

“We have been working with the local council, police, health and various other stakeholders to ensure the format complies with the current Covid guidelines for WA. All have been incredibly supportive of our ideas. We will be monitoring the situation, and we are in constant contact with the relevant stakeholders. Should the situation in WA change, we will work to whatever guidelines are needed…”

He adds: “I would be flattered if this format was to be used by other events in Australia and across the world. The sooner we can get large-scale live events back up and running, the better for everyone. I am excited to see what innovation comes from this pandemic; it is a great opportunity for some creative thinking from the live music community.”

Good Day Sunshine will take place on 31 October at Barnard Park, on the Busselton foreshore, with performers John Butler, Xavier Rudd, Josh Pyke, Vikki Thorn, Kyle Lionhart, Dulcie, and Moon and Honey. The final tickets are priced at A$109.90 (US$80).

The Macro solution is the latest innovative socially distanced festival concept – read IQ’s feature spotlighting other Covid-compliant greenfield events here:

New festival formats: Who dares wins


This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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