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Australia's Byron Bay Bluesfest will take place in a fully seated format at around half capacity (15,000), director Peter Noble has announced
By IQ on 17 Feb 2021
Byron Bay Bluesfest is set to go ahead at around half its capacity after the government of New South Wales (NSW) approved its Covid-19 safety plan.
The festival was called off last year with three weeks to go as the coronavirus spread in Australia. By approving the safety plan for Bluesfest 2021, the state government “has indicated that, if the current Covid-19 situation continues in NSW, Bluesfest would be permitted to proceed”, says festival director Peter Noble OAM.
“This is a great day, not only for Bluesfest but also for the Australian live music industry and our unrelenting efforts to get back to presenting live music safely. While our capacity, stages and campgrounds will be approximately 50% of the numbers we have had in the past, it is great to know there is a future for our industry, and that we have been given the opportunity to present Bluesfest 2021 at a level not seen at festivals in Australia since the summer of 2019/20.”
Noble thanks NSW ministers including tourism minister Stuart Ayres and deputy premier John Barilaro for “working closely with us on a weekly basis to achieve this milestone result for the music-loving people of Australia”.
Bluesfest 2021 is scheduled for 1–5 April in Tyagarah, Byron Bay, with performers including Tash Sultana, Kev Carmody, Ocean Alley, the Church, John Williamson, Tex Perkins, Jimmy Barnes, Cat Empire, Kasey Chambers and Jeff Lang.
At 50% capacity, the festival will welcome around 15,000 festivalgoers, and 80% of tickets have already been sold.
“We are looking forward to seeing your smiling faces as you experience the best in Australian music”
Noble says he will make a further announcement about “how Bluesfest will be presented in a safe manner next week. What we can say is that the plan is created in a way where we can adapt to the requirements of the NSW health department should there be a need to create higher levels of safety for the public on site, and, of course, we are also hopeful that conditions will be further relaxed should there be no further community transmissions.”
“The good news is you won’t need to wear a mask currently while attending,” he continues. “We are looking forward to seeing your smiling faces as you experience the best in Australian music at an outdoor fully seated event.”
Noble concludes: “There are so many people to thank who took part in working with us in getting to this point. The artists and their agents and managers, the media for their ongoing support, our suppliers and, of course, the Bluesfest team, who never wavered – well, only sometimes – in their conviction to produce Bluesfest at Easter this year.
“But number one is our gratitude to the music fans, who purchased the tickets from the moment we went on sale and who will join us in making history as major live music events return in Australia.”
Five-day Bluesfest 2021 tickets are priced from A$585 (US$450) + fees.
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