The State Government has approved the COVID-19 safety plan for the Bluesfest music festival, paving the way for the iconic event to go ahead this year.
‘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,’ the director of Bluesfest Peter Noble said.
‘Whilst our capacity, stages and campgrounds will be approximately 50 per cent 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.’
Mr Noble said organisers were ‘heartbroken’ after last year’s cancellation three weeks out from the festival, due to NSW government orders.
But they soon got back into the process of ensuring that the 2021 event went ahead, commencing work with Riskworks to create a COVID-19 Safety Plan in May 2020.
‘We first lodged it with the government in August and have continued to refine the plan since that time,’ Mr Noble said.
‘We have worked closely with NSW Health in developing the plan and are extremely thankful for their ongoing advice.
‘We will be inspecting the 150-page COVID-19 Safety Plan in depth and will make a further announcement on 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.’
Not surprisingly, this year’s event will feature an all-Aussie line-up. Performers include Jimmy Barnes, Tash Sultana, Ocean Alley, Ziggy Alberts, The Teskey Brothers, John Butler, Xavier Rudd, The Cat Empire, Kasey Chambers, The Waifs and The Church.