Byron Bay to host Bluesfest despite growing COVID-19 concerns
he New South Wales town of Byron Bay will go ahead with hosting a major music festival over the Easter long weekend despite several alerts for positive cases of COVID-19.
Organisers of Bluesfest released a statement reassuring attendees the event would still be going ahead however people impacted by Brisbane’s snap lockdown will not be allowed to attend.
“We are continuing to monitor the situation closely to ensure the event is COVID-safe,” the statement said.
“We are not allowing ticket holders that are affected by the three-day Queensland lockdown to attend the festival on the first day, Thursday April 1.
“We will keep ticket buyers informed and advise them to also keep updated via their state government advice.”
The lockdowns currently affect the council areas of Brisbane, Ipswich, Moreton Bay, Logan, and Redlands.
To the people of Brisbane who might have bought tickets to come to Bluesfest, do not come,” Minister for Health Brad Hazzard said in a press conference yesterday.
The festival, which will one of the state’s first music festivals since lockdown began in March 2020, will have a reduced capacity to 50 per cent however more than 10,000 people are still expected to attend.
Attendees will be seated and sanitisation stations will be set up across the festival site with COVID-19 marshals present to enforce social distancing rules.
Four venues in the Byron Bay are considered high risk community transmission sites with anyone who visited the locations told to get tested immediately and self isolate for two weeks.
The venues include:
- Suffolk Beach front Holiday Park communal toilets on March 26 from 6pm-6:30pm and 27 March 2021 from 3:20pm – 3:50pm
- Mokha Cafe in Byron Bay on March 27 from 10:30am to 11:30am
- The Farm in Byron Bay on March 28 from 8:45am to 10:3am
- Byron Beach Hotel on March 26 from 7Pm to 9pm
No new cases of community transmission have been recorded overnight however Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said more cases are likely in coming days.
“Clearly we would … expect that there will be additional cases, given the close proximity that the travel party would have had with each other,” she said.
The upcoming long weekend will be the first weekend in NSW in over a year where dancing will be permitted indoors and no caps are in force for private gatherings, weddings or funerals.