Bluesfest / Gary Colby-Jones

NSW Government Has “High Level Of Concern” Over Bluesfest Following New Byron Case

UPDATE 31/03/21: Bluesfest 2021 Has Been Cancelled

The New South Wales state government has revealed that there has been one locally acquired case of COVID-19 in the Byron Bay area since 8pm on Tuesday, 30th March.

This has caused the government to bring back some restrictions for the Byron, Lismore, Tweed and Ballina shires. Venues must be seated, the one person per four square metre rule is back and those in the area must wear masks in retail areas, on public transport, in taxis and ubers etc.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has also spoken about Bluesfest, which is set to begin in the Byron area tomorrow.

“If it were absolutely safe then we wouldn’t be making this comment,” Hazzard said in a press conference in reference to Bluesfest.

“At this stage, we do have concerns – the government has concerns, I have concerns as health minister – that having…up to 15,000 (people) on any one day could be a challenge if some of these people who may have got the virus…could cause some concerns for us, particularly if there’s further transmission of the virus.”

While he confirmed the event is, at the time of writing, still going ahead, he is in constant talks with the festival’s organisers, who have been “very obliging”, and punters should be on high alert from messaging from both the festival and the government over the next “12 – 24 hours”.

Earlier this week, reps for the festival – which is sporting an all-Australian lineup with the likes of Jimmy Barnes, Tash Sultana, The Teskey Brothers and more – said the event would still be going ahead despite the Brisbane lockdown, though they asked Brisbane punters to not attend the festival’s first day.

Music Feeds has reached out for Bluesfest to comment.

Watch the full press conference below.

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