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Quarantine issues put end to NZ’s biggest 2022 festival

The organisers of Bay Dreams are cancelling both summer dates due to difficulty securing quarantine spots for international acts.

The festival was set to be the biggest of the year, with an event in Nelson (cap. 13,000) on 3 January and an event in Tauranga (cap. 30,000) on 6 January.

The line-up was announced when NZ was operating a trans-Tasman travel bubble and included acts such as Australians Tash Sultana and Tones and I, as well as European electronic artists Chase & Status and Netsky.

“As it stands, there is much uncertainty around the trans-Tasman bubble and quarantine spaces are extremely difficult to obtain,” wrote promoter Audiology Touring in a statement. “A queue of 30,000+ people are trying to gain access to a few thousand rooms.”

“A queue of 30,000+ people are trying to gain access to a few thousand rooms”

“At a time like this we have two choices: we either promote something that is unlikely to proceed, or we shift into an event that we can confidently bring to life for you.”

In lieu of the flagship events, Audiology will be hosting two alternative events in the same cities on the same dates, with the few international acts that have secured quarantine places. Netsky, Hybrid Minds, Friction and Koven have been confirmed so far.

Refunds for Bay Dreams are underway and the new sales will go on show next Wednesday (20 October).

Audiology says it’s working on securing more rooms every week and will add more acts in a second announcement when isolation places have been secured.

 


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NZ organisers welcome vaccine passport mandate

New Zealand festival promoters have welcomed plans for a vaccine passport, saying it gives them certainty to plan major events this summer.

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced plans on Tuesday (5 October) for a vaccine certificate system that could be operational by November.

Arden said the government is looking to mandate its use for large festivals, and that festivalgoers will need to get vaccinated this month if they want to go to such events over the summer.

Once available, the vaccine certificate can be printed out or displayed on a mobile phone. A beta version is already available.

Hamish Pinkham, director of Live Nation-owned Rhythm and Vines Music Festival, told Stuff that the vaccine certificate was good news for promoters and would give him the clarity he needed to run the December event.

“It makes sense that we follow the overseas success in this area.”

Callam Mitchell, director of event production company Team Event, which runs five major events in Christchurch including Electric Avenue in February, says the certificate system means they could plan events with confidence.

“We encourage everyone who wants to attend events this summer to get vaccinated as soon as possible, bearing in mind it’s an eight-week period between doses and the vaccine becoming effective,” says Mitchell.

Bay Dreams director Mitch Lowe, who runs two events set for early January in Nelson and Tauranga, also welcomed the vaccine certificate: “It makes sense that we follow the overseas success in this area.”

New Zealand is on pace to fully vaccinate about 90% of its eligible population by the end of November.

 


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