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Bluesfest Is the Latest Major Event to Be Cancelled Due to COVID-19

It's the first time in 30 years the festival will not go ahead.
By Samantha Teague
March 16, 2020
By Samantha Teague
March 16, 2020

The COVID-19 situation in Australia is changing every day, with the federal government first implementing a ban on non-essential events with more than 500 people and then mandating that everyone arriving from overseas self-isolate for 14 days. In response to the first restriction, events and venues around the country are cancelling and postponing their 2020 plans.

The latest casualty: Bluesfest. The long-running festival was set to return to Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm — just outside Byron Bay — for the Easter long weekend, headlined by Alanis Morissette, Dave Matthews Band, Patti Smith, Crowded House and Lenny Kravitz, among others. But, Festival Director Peter Noble this morning announced it would not be going ahead.

"We are heartbroken," Noble said in a statement. "We believe we were presenting one of the best ever bills of talent for you."

While the Easter festival has been cancelled, Noble says "we are now working through how to move forward".

To everyone involved with Bluesfest,It is obvious we will not be on this Easter. We are heartbroken as we believe we...

Posted by Bluesfest Byron Bay on Sunday, 15 March 2020

It's the first time in 30 years the festival will not run, but the second year in a row it has come under threat. Last year, Noble contemplated moving the festival to a spot outside of NSW last year because of the State Government's strict music festival licensing regime.

According to website I Lost My Gig Australia, so far 20,000 events have been cancelled, which has impacted 190,000 Australians and equated to $47 million in lost income. And those numbers are continuing to climb by the minute.

We'll let you know if and when Bluesfest releases more details.

To stay up-to-date with the events postponed and cancelled in your city, head over here. To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in Australia and how to protect yourself, head to the Australian Government Department of Health's website.

Top image: Joseph Mayers

Published on March 16, 2020 by Samantha Teague
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