The emergence of the highly-contagious Omicron COVID-19 variant led to a spike in cases at the end of 2021.
Jimmy Barnes cancelled his Australian shows in the lead-up to Christmas, and other events slowly started dropping off either from an abundance of caution or changes to density limits and other government-imposed limitations.
The optimism of a new year has been quickly diminished by ever-changing restrictions, which have forced the postponement and cancellation of multiple events already.
Tone Deaf decided to create a list to show just how many Australian tours and events have been impacted by COVID so far this year.
The NSW leg of the festival So Frenchy So Chic has been cancelled due to current NSW public health orders. The French festival, which was scheduled to take place on Saturday, 19 February, is billed as a “wonderful celebration of our music, cuisine and joie de vivre.” The Victorian So Frenchy So Chic festival will go ahead as scheduled this Sunday, 13th February.
The organisers released a statement about the cancellation of the NSW event. “It’s very disappointing that none of the Create NSW programs can assist So Frenchy So Chic during this difficult period of restrictions imposed by the State of NSW itself. Boutique events like ours contribute considerably to the cultural diversity and economy of the state,” it reads.
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The statement continues: “We have tried but are unable to reschedule this year’s festival due to artist and park availability.We sincerely apologise for this announcement but it is out of our control. We have worked hard over the last 8 months to deliver a great experience and are devastated that we cannot share it with you. We can’t wait to be back in Sydney in January 2023 to celebrate all things, French.”
The band came to a unanimous decision to cancel all upcoming live appearances due to the pandemic. A statement on their Facebook says “All four members agree that in the current climate of social hesitancy, reduced show capacities, logistical hardship and heightened police brutality against members of the public, Mammal is not in a position to be able to deliver and vibrate at the level their incendiary live shows have become world-renowned for. There is no tension or doubt in this resolution, and the Melbourne funk/punk four-piece are certain that they have made the right decision for themselves, their fan base and the public at large.”
As The Cocky Flies
Regional Victorian festival As The Cocky Flies has been cancelled ahead of its March dates featuring Emma Donovan & The Putbacks, Dallas Frasca and more. “We have been working passionately, non-stop for almost 18 months to ensure the success of ‘As The Cocky Flies’ festival – however after looking at every possible scenario we just keep circling back to the fact there are just too many liabilities at risk for us to put the event on in March,” promoters wrote on a Facebook post. “With the rise in Covid-19 positive cases and the huge impact this is having on the healthcare system and staffing levels, we are making an informed choice that we just can’t proceed safely in March. We know after consulting with countless people, this is the right thing to do to keep everybody safe.” Promoters said the decision had “not come lightly” and they were “beyond gutted”, promising to return when the time was right. “This has been our life passion, purpose, drive and hope over the past 18 months, however, we keep coming to the same conclusion after the many discussions over the last few weeks.”
Luft 2022 Festival, which had Pig & Dan and Monkey Safari on the lineup and was scheduled to take place on February 12th, 2022, has been cancelled.
All Day’s Perth show, which was set to to take place on February 11th, 2022, has been cancelled due to Western Australia’s border closure.
“Quick Tour Update. It brings me no pleasure to inform you that we had to cancel the Perth show because the border situation didn’t resolve in time. All tickets will be refunded. Promise I’ll be there soon,” All Day wrote on Instagram. “In better news: Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide. We are doing all of these shows. The thought of putting off the shows for a third time just made me sick so we’re not gonna do that. Be quick on the last tickets and I’ll see you in a couple of weeks.”
Good Times Festival
Good Times Festival, which was set to feature Josh Teskey & Ash Grunwald, Cash Savage & The Last Drinks, Sam Teskey, Emma Donovan & the Put Backs and more in NSW next month, has been cancelled.
“We had high hopes that we would be able to bring you some good old fashioned good times in the wonderful town of Tocumwal this summer, but sadly with current restrictions and this being a community event, we have made the tough decision to put our plans on hold till 2023,” organisers said.
“We would like to say a massive thank you to all ticket holders for your ongoing support, along with the artists, sponsors and suppliers who we know are equally sad they won’t get to give back to regional NSW and come together with you salt of the earth folk this year.”
Ticket holders will receive an automatic refund this week, with the next festival tentatively scheduled for March 2023.
Cog has announced that they are cancelling their Brisbane show after struggling with “intense frustration” related to COVID restrictions.
The Aussie rock band released a lengthy two-part statement on Facebook and Instagram addressing the reason for the cancellation. Within the post COG said that “should any situation arise where we may be asked or expected to perform to an audience that was non-inclusive, we would not be willing to participate.”
You can read the entire post here.
Harry Styles has cancelled his Australian and Aotearoa shows, devastating and angering fans who held on to tickets for almost three years.
Port Fairy Jazz Festival
Festival Chairman Rod Carter announced the Port Fairy Jazz Festival’s cancellation in a Facebook post:
“In view of the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the Port Fairy Jazz Festival committee has determined that the 2022 Port Fairy Jazz Festival will be cancelled. This action has been taken to protect the health and well-being of the Port Fairy community together with jazz lovers and musicians who support the festival. Arrangements will be made to refund those who have purchased tickets as soon as practical.”
Initially scheduled for Saturday, January 29th, it was rescheduled to Saturday, April 23rd after several artists – including headliners Northlane – tested positive for COVID. Full Tilt’s organisers had been tirelessly working behind the scenes to put on a COVID-safe festival, but with yet another change in South Australian COVID policies and the government backtracking on all its earlier promises on density and outdoor gathering limits, the festival was cancelled completely.
Sydney is the second location to lose Full Tilt music festival due to COVID-19 restrictions, after Adelaide was cancelled earlier this month. With the current NSW Public Health Order restrictions extended for another month, festival organisers have made the “devastating” decision to cancel the event.
When the NSW Government amended their Public Health order to ban all singing and dancing for outdoor events, Grapevine Gathering organisers were forced to pull the plug on their event four days out, with a projected loss of $5.2 million for the greater Hunter Valley region and 1400 jobs lost across artists, food vendors, security, production crew, ticketing staff and more. The event was set to be hosted by The Inspired Unemployed and headlined by The Veronicas, Vera Blue, The Jungle Giants, King Stingray, Peking Duk & more.
A South Australian festival featuring Bad//Dreems, Luke Million, Peter Combe, and showcasing over 60 brewers, distillers winemakers and local food vendors was cancelled due to changing COVID restrictions. “We simply can’t run HomeBrewed in a seated format, and a postponement into a time where we would be competing with the beasts that are Adelaide Festival, Adelaide Fringe and WOMADelaide is simply not viable,” organisers said.
Rainbow Serpent Festival
After not having an event in 2021, organisers announced there would be no event in 2022 either, urging fans to lock Easter 2023 (April 7th – April 10th) in their diaries for the next instalment of the popular festival. “We’re excited to say that we will be making Easter our permanent Rainbow weekend,” they announced in a Facebook post. “The increased temperatures and fire risk over summer has become a real concern (especially with our lovely site being adjacent to a forest reserve). The extreme weather has not been easy going, so we hope you all look forward to our new dates. Rainbow’s home has been regenerating beautifully. It is missing you all, and is looking forward to when we can all make our annual pilgrimage back to Lexton together.”
The Squeeze Festival won’t be taking place in Townsville as planned. “Unfortunately, the uncertainty around large scaled outdoor events in recent months has deeply impacted us and we’ve had to make a tough call,” the organisers said. “This isn’t goodbye, it’s a seeya later. We’ll be back in 2023 with a whole bunch of mates, travelling and performing around Oz, so stay tuned for Squeeze Festival updates.”
The Amity Affliction had a run of southern shows booked to go ahead before their US tour kicks off next month. Unfortunately, it looks like the band has had to postpone Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.
“A lot of you are asking about the shows next week and we have tried everything and every angle to make these shows happen, but due to current local government restrictions we can’t play these shows at indoor venues,” the band said in a statement. “We have tried everything we can to move these and make it work but right now it is impossible. We are working around the clock to reschedule these for July and will have all the details asap. We are gutted that we have to do this again, thanks for all your support and patience!”
Dom Dolla’s Sydney Show
The Hordern Pavilion posted a show update to Instagram: “With the current restrictions in NSW extending, we have had to make the difficult decision to postpone Dom Dolla’s show next week. However we are extremely excited to announce that Dom has been able to make a new date work before he goes back overseas – Fri 4th March 2022!” Tickets will be automatically transferred to the new date.
Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake have been forced to postpone the Adelaide, Perth & Sydney shows of their Kaliyuga Tour due to restrictions and border closures. The dates have been rescheduled to Spring 2022, and you can check out the new dates here. “This has been one of the most challenging times for the music industry. For those of you that have stood by, we cannot thank you enough for your support and patience. All current tickets remain valid for the new dates,” they shared in an Instagram post.
The Rubens have rescheduled their tour dates for the sixth time, as a result of capacity restrictions. “We are incredibly sad to have to push back our Victorian and South Australian dates once again. With capacity restrictions being extended in respective states, we aren’t able to squeeze all ticket holders into venues and have no choice but to reschedule (again). We announced a majority of these shows in February 2020 so it seems almost unfathomable to think this is 6th time we’ve rescheduled these dates.” the band posted on Facebook. Ticket holders who aren’t able to make the new dates can receive a refund.
Bliss N Eso’s North Queensland tour dates
After kicking off their first tour in five years in Brisbane on January 21st, Bliss N Eso announced the postponement of their four North Queensland shows the following Wednesday due to members of the touring party testing positive to COVID-19. The Mackay, Airlie Beach, Townsville and Cairns dates will be rescheduled, with new shows announced on Tuesday, February 1st. “We’re devastated we aren’t able to perform for our crew in Mackay, Arlie Beach, Cairns & Townsville this week but the health and wellbeing of our touring party and fans is paramount,” Bliss N Eso said in a statement. “We can’t wait to be back on the stage as soon as possible and deliver the show we’ve been working hard on & make some memories with you all! Keep your tickets tight – we’ll have updated show information to you ASAP!”
The Long Sunset Festival
The new boutique live music event from the crew behind Queensland Queensland Music Trails is moving its event from Saturday, 12th February to Saturday, 30th April. “We imagine The Long Sunset as a fun, safe, and relaxed live music experience in one of Queensland’s most evocative locations – The Scenic Rim. This is the promise we made when tickets went on sale, and it’s one we remain committed to delivering on,” QMF CEO Joel Edmonson said. “We sincerely hope that ticket holders can attend on April 30 and share in a day to remember. We greatly appreciate the public’s support of the many artists and arts workers that are persisting through very challenging conditions to keep our live music culture alive.” The event will host Angus & Julia Stone, Ball Park Music, Babe Rainbow, Jack Gray, Clea, Asha Jefferies, Sofia Isella and local DJ duo Cheek2Cheek. Unfortunately, Hatchie will no longer be able to perform due to the date change.
Jungle Giants were booked to play at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion on Friday 28th January 2022 with special guests Bag Raiders performing a DJ set. With only a week until their scheduled date, and Omicron cases still climbing, they’ve had to postpone their show to Friday 11th March 2022. “SYDNEY!! Unfortunately we have had to move the show next weekend due to the obvious… The new date is March 11. We were SO excited to bring love Signs to you on the weekend and we still are. “We’ll get there baby.” They announced that if ticket holders can’t make the new date, refunds will be available.
American rapper, singer and songwriter Russ has been forced to reschedule all of his Australia and New Zealand tour dates because of COVID restrictions. Russ was scheduled to play in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane from 11th-15th March, 2022 as part of his Shake The Globe tour. He had an additional New Zealand show booked for the 17th March 2022. All four shows have now been postponed, and will all now take place in November, 2022. Current ticket holders will automatically have their bookings transferred to the new dates.
The NSW festival has been forced to push back until September due to the state’s new restrictions on singing and dancing. “Whilst disappointed to have to postpone the event, we are excited to have been able to secure a new date in September to bring this festival to our hometown & we look forward to seeing everyone there!” they said on Instagram.
The singer-songwriter otherwise known as Kevin Mitchell was due to play at Northcote Social Club this Saturday, January 22nd. Due to COVID, it will now take place on Wednesday, April 13th, at the same venue. “Don’t worry, our symptoms are mild and myself, my wife and kids are all doing fine!” he assured fans in an Instagram post announcing the postponement.
Great Australian Beer Festival Geelong
Geelong’s Great Australian Beer Festival was put on ice until April 2nd thanks to the evolving COVID-19 situation. The popular event was set to take place in Johnstone Park on Saturday, 15th January, with two sessions featuring 35 breweries and entertainment by an array of performers, including headline acts The Badloves and Art vs Science. “Our top priority is the health and wellbeing of all people involved in our events, which means that despite being deemed low-risk by national and state authorities due to the outdoor nature of our festival, the uncertainty surrounding the escalating COVID-19 cases means that postponing the event date is the best way we can help mitigate the impact of the virus for all in our community,” organisers said on Facebook.
Bendigo Blues & Roots Festival
The Bendigo Blues and Roots Music Festival was due to celebrate its 10th anniversary in February, but has been postponed yet again due to the escalating coronavirus situation in Victoria. Event Director Colin Thompson said the decision was made due to the current high risk to its volunteers, artists, technicians and attendees and the uncertainty around venues being able to operate with staff shortages and capacity restrictions. The re-programmed event will go ahead from the 3rd until the 6th of November.
The Broken Heel Festival
The Broken Heel Festival has been postponed for the fourth time in two years due to the continual disruption of COVID-19. Organisers said the impact of Omicron across staffing levels, artists, suppliers and guests made the March event unfeasible to be delivered to the expectations of patrons and event planners. The March festival was scheduled as a rebound event from the cancelled date in 2020 and two postponements last year due to restrictions on large-scale events. The event is now scheduled to take place from September 8th until September 12th, at The Palace Hotel in Broken Hill, NSW.
Sir Rod Stewart postponed his tour March and April tour dates due to COVID-19, telling his Australian fans: “My thoughts are with all your families at this difficult time as we come out of the joyous and hopefully safe holiday season and I look forward to returning to Australia as soon as the health situation permits.” The 77-year-old added that he “absolutely gutted” over the decision and has vowed to bring “the party to end all parties” to Australia as soon as it’s safe to do so.
Daryl Braithwaite shows
Former Sherbet frontman Daryl Braithwaite revealed his COVID-19 diagnosis on Facebook, which threw a number of tour dates into disarray. “This morning I was notified that I had Covid-19,” he wrote. “So due to band members as well testing positive the Braithwaite shows scheduled for this Friday 14th Yamba, Saturday 15th Moonee Beach & Sunday 16th Kingscliff are now sadly postponed. The organisers are working hard to secure new dates and these will be announced asap – please be patient and hold onto your tickets for the new re-scheduled dates.”
Just weeks out from its scheduled date, UNIFY confirmed their festival would be postponed to their back-up date in March. “With the rise in COVID positive cases and the impact this is having on the healthcare system and staffing levels, we received critical advice yesterday from key stakeholders, including emergency services, that the resources required to run UNIFY Forever on the January dates would be limited due to the pandemic,” they said in a statement. The Amity Affliction and Violent Soho led the mammoth celebration of all things Aussie and heavy.
The 50th annual Tamworth Country Music Festival was postponed to April just one week out from the original January date. “Given the current state of COVID transmission in our communities, and the impact the changed COVID safety measures have on our venues, it is the best decision for the health and safety of everyone involved, particularly the Tamworth and country music community,” festival manager Barry Harley said. The event, including the Golden Guitar Awards 50th Anniversary, is scheduled to go ahead from April 18th to 24th.
King Street Carnival
The King Street Carnival – which takes place at venues around Sydney including Sydney Park and Camperdown Memorial Rest Park – was set to run from January 14th to 16th. Organisers said it was a difficult decision, but the current situation left them no choice other than to postpone the event less than ten days out: “With case numbers spiralling and the ongoing uncertainty around the current outbreak, we as organisers don’t feel that now is the right time to be bringing large crowds into the local community. We’ll be back in the not too distant future with more info and new dates. Please stay safe, we love you and appreciate all the kind words about our event.”
Brisbane’s Full Tilt Festival was postponed until April after several members of Northlane and their touring party, alongside a number of other artists on the bill, tested positive for COVID. “As of this morning we’ve had multiple people in our touring party test positive to COVID-19,” Northlane’s Josh Smith said in a statement. “We feel for the organisers, we feel for the staff, our crew, our fans and the other artists, some of which we know have traveled far and wide to attend. We did our absolute best, but we couldn’t make magic happen this time. We look forward to seeing you again soon once we’ve recovered.” The event has been rescheduled to Saturday, 23rd April.
Good Love Festival
Festival organisers announced they had “been forced to make the tough decision to postpone Good Love 2022” via Facebook. “Unfortunately, the extension of managed isolation and quarantine for returning New Zealand citizens and other eligible travellers, directly impacts the majority of the artists on our lineup who are coming from New Zealand, which results in us being unable to go ahead in February,” they said. The new event is scheduled for Saturday, May 7th, at Doug Jennings Park on the Gold Coast. Promoters revised the lineup due to “too much uncertainty to enable us to confidently bring artists across from territories such as America.” The festival will now feature an all-Australian and New Zealand lineup, headlined by Katchafire and Stan Walker.
Uncaged Festival promoters Silverback Touring were amongst the first to make a call regarding the unfolding COVID situation, announcing their decision to postpone the festival just before Christmas. “We regret to advise that due to the ongoing COVID pandemic restrictions and uncertainty around significantly rising case numbers in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane the Uncaged Festival, scheduled for January and February 2022, will be postponed and rescheduled to new dates in March and April 2022,” they said. The new dates resulted in new headliners, as well, including You Am I, Shihad, and Tex Perkins and the Fat Rubber Band.
The Australian supergroup made up of members of Spiderbait, Jet, Powderfinger, You Am I, and The Wrights have had to push back their tour that was due to begin in just a week. “I don’t need to explain the frustration it causes all involved in putting these things together, from the band, to the crew, venues, venue staffing, promotion etc etc…but we feel confident with the new run…just a month later than initially planned,” Darren Middleton said.
The acclaimed hip hop group have rescheduled their NSW tour dates due to the state’s current COVID-19 protocols. “We regretfully advise that a portion of Bliss n Eso’s ‘The Sun’ 2022 shows in NSW has been rescheduled to April-May 2022,” the group shared. The tour’s Queensland dates have also been postponed, with rescheduled dates to be announced soon.
The pop band announced on Facebook they have postponed their tour to May 2022. “We can’t wait to see you all again. Our heart and soul, beautiful Australia & New Zealand.”
The British pop icon has announced that his FANTABULOSA tour has been rescheduled due to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Of course this is disappointing as I was very much looking forward to getting back to Australia and working with these incredible Australian artists to bring FANTABULOSA to life, but it seems the universe had other plans!” he shared.
The band are no longer embarking on a 12-stop tour next month. “Unfortunately, the uncertainty around large scaled outdoor events in recent months has had an impact on Squeeze Festival, a major regional touring festival,” promoters Chugg Music explained in a statement today.
Due to the state’s current COVID-19 restrictions meaning only 500 fans can be allowed in an outdoor space (10% capacity), the band have decided it’s not viable to tour anymore. “We are devastated by this eventuation,” they shared in a statement. “Stay tuned to our socials for the full recording of the final Melbourne show which will be made available on all streaming platforms in April. Huge apologies and sadness that we can’t get back to you one last time with the original line-up. Thank you for your enduring support, it has been one hell of a ride.