Lunar Electric Festival has officially been cancelled in Newcastle over fears it could become a “superspreading” event.
The event – which was billed as the biggest homegrown hip hop/EDM (electronic dance music) festival – was set to kick off this Saturday, with artists such as rapper Kerser, Pendulum, and Hooligan Hefs set to hit the stage this Saturday.
The music festival was cancelled by NSW Health under a Public Health Order on Thursday, two days prior to the event.
“NSW Health considered that the ongoing spread of COVID-19 in the Newcastle area, where the majority of a record number of cases are the Omicron variant of concern, presents too great a risk for the festival to take place this weekend,” a statement read.
“NSW Health has advised the organisers of the festival this afternoon of the cancellation.
“NSW Health continues to be concerned about the ongoing spread of COVID-19 in the Newcastle area, where several venues and events have now seen extensive transmission.”
Announcing the forced cancellation on their official page, organisers said in a statement: “We regret to inform that the NSW Government has directed us to cancel Lunar Electric this weekend in Newcastle.
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“We have done everything we could, and followed all government directives in the lead up to this event. However, NSW Health has deemed the current outbreak situation too high risk for a festival to take place this weekend.
Just earlier this week, Lunar Electric festival organisers claimed that the show would go on, saying that they would “be taking extra precautions to help make the event as safe as possible.”
“That mean we’ll be getting everyone to check-in, mask-wearing will be encouraged when not social distancing, eating or drinking.”
Given that a large majority of Newcastle residents are now in isolation following the highly-contagious Omicron COVID infecting at least 200 attendees of Argyle House nightclub on December 8, many punters were left furious after being unable to refund their ticket in light of the health emergency.
“So you guys are going to test every single individual that is going to walk through the gates with a rapid antigen test? If that’s the case fine but if not you guys will be the most notorious super spreading event in NSW,” one person wrote underneath Wednesday’s post revealing the event was to go ahead at the time.
“What a joke, can just imagine all the positive cases by Monday! At least let people get refunds that don’t wanna risk going,” another added.
According to ABC, the Hunter New England (HNE) Health District recorded 633 new cases of coronavirus today, up from yesterday’s figure of 424.
There are 1,452 active cases in district, with nine in hospital and two in intensive care.