Bluesfest has officially announced the cancellation of its 2020 proceedings due to the current outbreak of COVID-19.
This news breaks after a week of multiple cancellations in the music industry that have had a tremendous impact on workers and musicians alike. Events that have been called off or postponed so far include Coachella, Dark Mofo, SXSW and Download Festival.
Patti Smith, Crowded House, Dave Matthews Band, and more were scheduled to be performing at this years Bluesfest.
While Bluesfest organisers had been monitoring the situation closely, they last week issued a statement to note that the event “will be going ahead as planned” due to advice from the likes of NSW Health, who specifically stated that “the risk of community spread of COVID-19 in NSW is low.”
“Both NSW Health and the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), the federal body, report that attending public events such as Bluesfest are low risk,” wrote Bluesfest Executive Chairman Peter Noble OAM in a statement.
Unfortunately, Friday brought with it suggestions from Prime Minister Scott Morrison that all non-essential events with audiences above 500 be cancelled from Monday, March 16th onwards. Over the weekend though, quarantines and bans were officially enforced, causing Bluesfest to issue a statement noting that this was grave news for the industry.
Today, Bluesfest has sadly confirmed they’re the latest casualty in the global COVID-19 pandemic.
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“It is obvious we will not be on this Easter,” Noble wrote on Facebook earlier today. “We are heartbroken as we believe we were presenting one of the best ever bills of talent for you.
“I was in discussions right through last week with every headliner – they ALL said they’re coming as long as nothing occurred to prevent them from doing so. That is the level of commitment that our artists have, and I am proud of that.
“I must now thank every one of you for supporting us. The emails and posts are deeply appreciated at this time,” Noble added. “We are now working through how to move forward and to give you details. I thank you for allowing us enough time to get everything in place for the best possible outcome for everyone.”