WOMAdelaide has today announced the location, dates and health and safety guidelines for the 2022 instalment of the festival, including the requirement that all punters will need to be fully vaccinated in order to attend.
In conversation with ABC Radio Adelaide, WOMAdelaide director Ian Scobie said the hard and fast vaccination rule will apply to “staff, the artists, the crew, everyone who basically will work on and participate in the event, which obviously includes the audience”.
Though vaccinations have not been made a requirement to attend large live music events in South Australia, Scobie said the team at WOMAdelaide believe they have a duty of care to the artists and audiences, particularly at an event that is expected to draw in 18, 000 people.
He said they also believe being up front about their vaccination policy is best, saying they “didn’t think it’s fair for people to purchase tickets and then later be told, ‘Oh by the way you need to be vaccinated’.”
“So what’s going to be clear is when audiences go to buy a ticket there will be a checkbox for them to confirm that they understand and agree that in purchasing tickets that everyone who attends the festival [aged] 16 years and over will need to be fully vaccinated and have proof of their vaccination status.”
In the interview, Scobie noted that he understands this requirement will mean that some will choose not to attend the festival, saying he sympathises with those who choose otherwise, but at the end of the day, “we are in a pandemic.”
“The pandemic will pass and for those individuals who decide not to come we understand that, that’s perfectly understandable, but we really have to take the broader view of the entire audience and the community safety.
“And for those individuals that have an issue with it, well they’ll have to just wait for a year and hopefully by 2023 the situation will have completely changed.”
Organisers have confirmed today that the festival will return in 2022 from 11th-14th March at its regular home of Botanic Park in Adelaide, and just in time for the festival’s 30th anniversary too.
WOMAdelaide was one of the only recurring festivals to be held in both 2020 and 2021 in Australia, though the event underwent some adaptations in order to proceed last year.
The 2020 instalment went ahead just prior to the first COVID lockdowns in March 2020, and the 2021 instalment looked a little different from past years. Taking place over four days, the fully-seated series was headlined by Midnight Oil and took place at a different venue than past years, at King Rodney Park.