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

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:

“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.

Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ IndexIQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Australia hosts first major “post-restrictions” events

Western Australia, home to the city of Perth, has become the first Australian state to host large-scale live events, allowing its biggest sport and entertainment venues to operate at 50% capacity.

The state saw the return of stadium concerts this weekend, with local musicians Crooked Colours, ShockOne, Slumberjack and Tina Says performing to over 2,000 fans as part of the WA Unlocked event at the HBF Stadium in Perth.

The event, organised by Zaccaria Concerts and VenuesWest, was billed as the first “post-restrictions” concert to be held in the country since lockdown measures came into force in March.

Seated tickets for the event cost AU$60 (€37), with standing tickets priced at AU$81 (€50).

Western Australia is now in its fourth stage of lockdown easing, permitting all events except large scale, multi-stage music festivals. Unseated performances are allowed to take place at music venues and concert halls, with gathering limits only determined by the state’s two-square-metre-per-person rule.

For the state’s biggest venues, however, a 50% capacity rule currently applies. Perth’s Optus Stadium admitting 25,000 football fans for a match on Sunday. The stadium is allowed to admit up to 35,000 for concerts and 30,633 for sporting events, with HBF Park given limits of 10,150 for sports and 16,500 for music events.

Western Australia is now in its fourth stage of lockdown easing, permitting all events except large scale, multi-stage music festivals

Phase five of Western Australia’s lockdown lifting, which was to see almost all remaining restriction removed, was recently pushed back from 18 July to 1 August.

Elsewhere in Australia, venues in Melbourne joined those in a number of major cities worldwide to be forced to re-close their doors amid a surge in new coronavirus cases.

The re-imposition of lockdown restrictions across the parts of the state of Victoria – which saw citizens permitted to leave their houses only for work, education, exercise or to buy essential supplies from 8 July – will last for six weeks.

Nightclubs in South Australia similarly faced a second wave of closures after briefly reopening over the first weekend of July. All venues now have to submit a Covid management plan before being allowed to operate.

In New South Wales, home to Sydney, venues are allowed to operate at 25% capacity, with a maximum number of 10,000 people in attendance, as long as social distancing measures are applied. All venue operators must submit a Covid-19 safety plan before organising an event.

Queensland is allowing events of up to 25,000 people (where that is equal to 50% full capacity), as long as there is an approved Covid safe event plan, and enough space for one person every four square metres.

Photo: DaHuzyBru/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0) (cropped)

 


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

Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Australian states take differing stance on live’s return

Live music may return in varying degrees across Australia this week, as the country’s six states advance with differing reopening plans.

In Western Australia, home to the city of Perth, indoor and outdoor gatherings of up to 100 people will be permitted from Saturday (6 June), as the state embarks on phase three of its reopening plan, which makes specific mention to the reopening of concert venues.

Large venues “with multiple, divided spaces” may host up to 300 people, provided no more than 100 gather in each space and there is two square metres per person.

Although “excited” by the easing of restrictions, Mike Harris, CEO of local music body West Australian Music, calls on the state government to rescind the requirement for seating at live music venues, which “does not reflect or represent the places where most music is played, making compliance with this restriction logistically and financially challenging for many”.

South Australia, which includes the city of Adelaide, this week began allowing a maximum of 80 people to gather at a venue, with any separate room or area containing a maximum of 20 people, subject to a one-person-per-four-square-metres rule.

Under the state government’s “future steps for consideration” is the allowing of larger gatherings and reopening of stadiums and larger entertainment venues.

Live music may return in varying degrees across Australia this week, as the country’s six states advance with differing reopening plans

The government in New South Wales, which has been criticised for its lack of support for the cultural sector and information around its reopening, recently dedicated $50m (€30.7m) to arts and cultural organisations, with expected beneficiaires including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Opera Australia, Australian Chamber Orchestra and the Sydney Theatre Company.

Pubs, clubs, small bars and restaurants in NSW were permitted to open for up to 50 customers this week, although all other indoor entertainment venues are to remain closed for now.

This has not stopped music returning to the state’s biggest city, Sydney, where the Bondi Beach Public Bar is relaunching its Friday and Saturday night DJ sets this weekend.

In the neighbouring state of Victoria, where AU$4m (€2.4m) was recently earmarked for the live music sector as part of a $150m (€88.2m) experience economy aid package, concert venues, theatres, arenas, auditoriums and stadiums are to open with up to 50 seated patrons from 21 June.

Queensland, home to Brisbane, is this week allowing up to 20 people in concert venues, theatres, arenas and stadiums, with this number set to increase to 100 from 10 July.

Australia’s island state of Tasmania is also reintroducing gatherings of up to 20 people in theatres and concert venues this week. From 13 July, 50 people will be allowed at indoor venus and up to 100 at outdoor shows. The state will also “consider” the reopening of night clubs from this date.

 


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