2020 That’s A Wrap!

There wasn’t a crystal ball that could’ve predicted the year that was 2020.

FIRST CAME THE FIRES, THEN THE VIRUS.

Cancelled by Public Health Order on Monday, March 16th – only three weeks out from the festival – we were in shock! However, within 2 days we made the decision to present Bluesfest 2021 and, from that moment, we have been focussed on delivering everything required to present our beloved festival.

There was so much to do:
• First, we reassured our staff they would still have a job, and be able to look after their families.
• We went to our creditors and entered into arrangements to ensure they would be paid.
• We went to our insurers in order to refund our ticket buyers.
• There was so much else to do including re-scheduling artists, both Aussie and International.
• Then, preparing our first announcement, which occurred on July 8th
– the earliest we have ever announced in our history.

To say it caused both an outpouring of love and respect from both our Bluesfest patrons and The Music Industry is absolutely true.

However, to say we received absolute support for our announcement could also not be further from the truth; many in the media felt we were being irresponsible and reported negatively on our announcement, or did not report at all. There were more than a few posting on our social media that Bluesfest 2021 would never happen.

We needed something to look forward to and to continue working towards in those dark days of social distancing, lockdowns and fear of the COVID-19, with so many businesses unable to open, and so many out of work.

Going forward into 2021, there is new hope and the light at the end of the tunnel is much brighter for all of us. Especially for all of us in the arts and entertainment industry, there is the dream that we can stop clinging on by our fingernails, and start the slow climb back to normality.

It is still a long road ahead but we are up for it – and thanks to your support, we are going for it!

Whilst we have a plan should we need to re-schedule (and we could) we have ALWAYS worked toward the return for our festival next Easter, April 1 – 5 2021. We have put our shoulder to the wheel and went about dealing with the challenges, which were – and still are – many.

It has strengthened our company and by planning for our future, we are ready for what comes next.

Now, as we see things getting so much better and things opening up, I say with full confidence that, short of a cluster outbreak, we are on track to present our All-Australian Artist lineup at Bluesfest next Easter in a COVID-safe way.

We don’t know exactly how the government will require us to present Bluesfest, but as we have seen restrictions being lifted recently, we are hopeful all restrictions will be removed soon.

You can rest assured we will always do what it takes to present the best Bluesfest experience for you, and to that end, I have booked a wealth of outstanding Aussie talent to play, and the response in ticket purchases has been just great.

We are now at 70% sold of the capacity we have been working toward – that is an amazing show of belief and support… it’s incredible! There are more announcements to come, including headliners.

Thank you to everyone involved: the Bluesfest team, the ticket buyers and supporters, and our live music industry, who have all been so supportive.

May I take this time to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, where we can once again enjoy music, played the way it should be… live, and in the company of other music lovers.

It has been a year that has meant hardship and loss for so many, but one thing that has come out of this darkness was community and caring. We all had extra time to contemplate and slow down and take stock.

In this holiday season let us never forget to look after ourselves, look after our neighbours, look after our friends, look after our community and whatever faith you follow, make kindness and compassion your watchwords for this holiday season and beyond.

Thank you for believing in us.

Peter Noble OAM
Executive Chairman
Bluesfest Group of Companies