Organisers of the Byron Bay-based Bluesfest have confirmed that the festival will go ahead despite the severe weather in the Northern Rivers area over the past few days.
In a statement yesterday afternoon, festival director Peter Noble OAM said that while the region had been “decimated by the floods”, Bluesfest will still run across its planned Easter dates of Thursday 14th to Monday 18th April at Byron Events Farm in Tyagarah.
“The Bluesfest site was inundated,” Noble wrote. “Yet today, you would hardly know it. Our office is open again, and the event site where the music takes place got through unscathed. As did the campgrounds and carpark.
“There has been some damage, but nothing major. Compared to what has happened and is still happening in the areas surrounding, it is a miracle, and we feel very fortunate that we can continue to operate right now.”
Noble added that they will be “focusing on supporting musicians in our region who have lost their ability to make a living, playing music” and that after two years of disruptions to live music due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was “all about getting them back and keeping the music playing.”
To that end, Noble urged Bluesfest ticketholders not to be deterred from turning up next month in light of current events, pointing out that coming to the region and supporting local businesses would make a positive change.
“Just by coming to our region and showing support through buying food from businesses both at the festival, and locally in the area, staying in accommodation, and taking part in all the other things our region has to offer, you will be helping so many people get through this time,” Noble said.
After multiple postponements and cancellations over the past two years, next month’s iteration of Bluesfest – featuring the likes of Midnight Oil, Paul Kelly, Crowded House, Amy Shark, the Teskey Brothers and the Cat Empire – will see the festival return for its first event since 2019.
Throughout that time, Noble has been vocal about the impact of the events of the last two years on both the festival itself along with the local community, artists, event organisers and live music workers across the board. That’s included calling for a federal government-backed business interruption scheme for large events last year.