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NZ’s The Bay of Islands fest axed over Covid fears

Festival organisers cite Northland’s red traffic light setting, which currently bans gatherings of more than 100 people, for the cancellation

By James Hanley on 17 Jan 2022

New Zealand music industry receives funding boost

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern


The Bay of Islands festival has become the latest event to fall by the wayside in New Zealand as a result of the uncertainty around Covid.

Salmonella Dub ft Tiki Taane, Laughton Kora and Whirimako Black, Jess B, Muroki, Sunshine Sound System ft. Rubi Du, Big G and Savage were among artists due to appear at Waitangi Sports Grounds in the Northland region on Saturday 29 January.

Festival organisers cite Northland’s red traffic light setting, which currently bans gatherings of more than 100 people and requires 1m social distancing, for the cancellation.

“We have held on for as long as we could before making this difficult decision, but uncertainty over the traffic light system level on the date of the festival, the ongoing threat of large gatherings being implicated as exposure events, coupled with Northland lagging behind with vaccination rates is all conspiring to negatively impact what should be a fun celebration,” says Jackie Sanders of Jacman Entertainment.

“We feel we need to pause until the country has moved through this critical stage of the pandemic”

Sanders says it is the 10th event she has had to cancel since August, with Jacman Entertainment now exploring the possibility of presenting smaller events over the summer with limited numbers.

“We feel we need to pause until the country has moved through this critical stage of the pandemic,” she adds. “All the suppliers and artists have been incredibly supportive, so it is devastating to have to make this decision.”

Last week, Rod Stewart’s scheduled nine-date spring run in Australia and New Zealand, originally scheduled for 2020, became the highest-profile casualty to date following the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. New Zealand shows by Northern Bass and Violet Femmes gigs have also been axed.

 


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