Two outback Australian festivals – the Big Red Bash and Mundi Mundi Bash – will require punters to show evidence they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to receive entry to their 2022 events.
Both events are organised by the Outback Music Festival Group, who said in an announcement last week that punters, staff, volunteers, contractors and vendors will all be subject to the festivals’ “no jab, no jive” policy next year. The Mundi Mundi Bash is planned to run in April of next year in Broken Hill, while the Big Red Bash is scheduled to take place near Birdsville in Queensland in July.
In a statement, Outback Music Festival Group founder Greg Donovan said the policy was about protecting both the health and safety of festival patrons and stuff, as well as the remote communities where the events take place.
“Staging festivals in such remote locations, where patrons come from all over Australia and travel through small regional and outback communities, many of which have large Indigenous populations, has led us to carefully review our position on vaccinations,” Donovan said.
“As an organisation we always strive to do everything within our power to ensure our festivals can be enjoyed safely by all those in attendance. Whilst this might impact some people’s decision to attend the festivals, we know we’ve made the right decision to keep everyone, including small regional and outback communities, as safe as possible.”
The group was able to successfully hold this year’s Big Red Bash last month, featuring the likes of Paul Kelly, Ian Moss, Daryl Brathwaite and more. The event was held with a COVID-safe plan signed off by Queensland Health, with measures in place like rapid testing and social distancing.
Last week, we reported that Live Nation Australia were considering trialling initiatives such as requiring patrons to show proof of vaccination or a negative test for access to large scale events, similar to a policy the company’s US counterpart will implement from October.
“All over the world, showing proof of COVID vaccination or negative test is proving to be an effective way at getting fans safely back to large scale events,” said Live Nation Asia-Pacific President Roger Field.
“In Australia, when the timing is right, we need to work with government to explore and trial these kinds of initiatives as a way to get the show back on the road.”