Peter Noble OAM, Bluesfest Festival Director and Chairman of the Bluesfest Group of Companies announced this morning:
“The NSW Government has indicated that, if the current COVID-19 situation continues in NSW, Bluesfest would be permitted to proceed, following our comprehensive COVID-19 safety plan.
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.
Whilst our capacity, stages and campgrounds will be approximately 50% 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.
We were heartbroken after last year’s cancellation three weeks out from the festival, due to NSW government orders. However, our resolve to present our beloved, multi award-winning festival resulted in our commencing work with Riskworks to create a COVID-19 Safety Plan in May of 2020. We first lodged it with government in August and have continued to refine the plan since that time.
We have worked closely with NSW Health in developing the plan and are extremely thankful for their ongoing advice. Certainly, the NSW Events Task Force and the offices of Stuart Ayres, Minister for Tourism and Major Events NSW; John Barilaro, the Deputy Premier NSW; Ben Franklin, NSW Parliamentary Secretary for the Arts; the office of Don Harwin, NSW Minister for the Arts and Paul Fletcher, Federal Minister for the Arts are to be commended for working closely with us on a weekly basis to achieve this milestone result for the music loving people of Australia,” said Bluesfest Festival Director Peter Noble.
Bluesfest is a five-time winner of Best Major Event at the NSW Tourism Awards, and a member of the NSW Tourism Hall of Fame, as well as being nominated nine times as Best International Music Festival in the Pollstar Awards which take place in Los Angeles, including their 30th Anniversary edition 2019.
“We have an All-Aussie lineup playing at Easter at our purpose-built event site, The Byron Events Farm (formerly Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm) in Byron Shire, 15 minutes’ drive north from Byron Bay. Bluesfest is headlined by an amazing lineup of talent, including Jimmy Barnes, Tash Sultana, Ocean Alley, Ziggy Alberts, The Teskey Brothers, John Butler, Xavier Rudd, The Cat Empire, Kasey Chambers, The Waifs, The Church, John Williamson, Ian Moss, Kev Carmody, Vika & Linda, Chain, Backsliders, Melbourne Ska Orchestra, Blue King Brown, Kate Miller-Heidke, Dami Im, Weddings Parties Anything, Russell Morris, Briggs, Jon Stevens and many, many more.
At the moment we are 80% sold out and our Friday, Saturday and Sunday days are expected to sell out” Noble said.
“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.
The good news is you won’t need to wear a mask currently whilst attending. We are looking forward to seeing your smiling faces as you experience the best in Australian music at an outdoor fully seated event.
There are so many people to thank who took part in working with us in getting to this point.
The artists and their agents and managers, the media for their ongoing support, our suppliers and of course the Bluesfest Team who never wavered, well … only sometimes, in their conviction to produce Bluesfest at Easter (April 1-5) this year. But number one is, our gratitude to the music fans, who purchased the tickets from the moment we went on sale and who will join us in making history as major live music events return in Australia.”
Let’s bring back the music !
Peter Noble OAM
Bluesfest Group of Companies