More concerts have been put on hold as Victoria’s circuit-breaker lockdown has been extended for at least another week.
Initially, the lockdown was introduced last week on Thursday, 27th May and was set to lift tomorrow (Thursday, 3rd June) but the amount of community cases of coronavirus have continued to rise. Today (Wednesday, 2nd June) saw the reporting of six new cases.
The extension, which only applies to Greater Melbourne, will hopefully lift at 11:59pm on Thursday, 10th June. However, some restrictions have been eased, namely the 5km radius has now been extended to 10km.
As reported by the ABC, the lockdown will be lifted in regional areas of Victoria, though they will still be subject to some limitations and restrictions.
In addition, Deputy Premier James Merlino has revealed a support package for businesses most impacted by the lockdown, including hospitality venues and creative industries.
“The Government is adding a further $209 million, this is on top of the $250 million package that the Treasurer and I announced on Sunday, and that will include $181 million to increase the business cost assistance program, increase those grants from $2,500 to $5,000 in total,” Merlino said.
“If you are restricted to one week, then it is a $2,500 grant. If you are restricted to the two weeks of this lockdown period, then you are eligible for $5,000.”
This also means that the remainder of RISING Festival will not be able to go ahead under the lockdown laws, after the majority of the event was cancelled due to the first week’s lockdown. The festival was set to go ahead from Friday, 4th June – Sunday, 6th June.
“Created by literally hundreds of artists, most of the shows and events for the festival were made during previous lockdowns or heavy restrictions,” the festival’sco-artistic directors Hannah Fox and Gideon Obarzanek said in a statement.
“So while this current outcome is not unexpected, we are devastated by how this present COVID outbreak and lockdown has impacted the thousands of people working on our festival and the many hundreds of thousands of people unable to attend. Our commitment to artists and audiences however remains adamant and with continued resilience we look forward to a future when they can come together again.”
The lockdown extension comes shortly after the music industry en masse continued the push for government support for a Business Interruption Fund for large-scale live music events.
Various peak music bodies and Labor MPs have also pushed the need for government assistance for festival organisers should music festivals suffer under more snap cancellations.