January 19, 2022

The music, it will return… Stay with us!

Dear Bluesfesters,

As you know, we have always endeavoured to continually stay in contact with representatives from NSW Health and NSW Government. It is our aim to understand the latest requirements when it comes to major events in NSW, to then relay this information to you so that we can all look ahead with as much transparency as possible.

Just last week Bluesfest Festival Director, Peter Noble, spoke with the Epidemiologist from NSW Health who deals with major events.

See the latest statement from Peter Noble below. 

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“Dear Music Lovers, 

“As we have entered a new year, coinciding with a number of recent government announcements as a result of the Omicron variant, we want to update you on Bluesfest this April, as well as outside shows. 

“To begin, myself and the entire team here at Bluesfest remain absolutely committed to rise to the challenge and bring you a safe and successful festival this coming Easter.

“I feel like I owe it to this wonderful industry, after having spent my life in music since my teenage years – to take all that I have learned over these many years, and bring my best to this upcoming Bluesfest… Let live music reign.

“I have so much to be thankful for. My life has been enriched through all of the wonderful artists I have presented over the decades, of course, through presenting Bluesfest for over 30 years, my Grammy Award-winning record label, and for the decade-plus that I was a professional musician, starting in Australia, then Canada and the US.

“Last week, I had the opportunity to have a discussion with the relevant Epidemiologist from NSW Health. In our discussions, I was heartened to hear they expect the Omicron variant to plateau and recede soon.

“We also discussed ways to present Bluesfest, and we will keep you updated.

“The NSW Health Minister, Brad Hazzard, signed an exemption to the current Health Order on January 17, saying that major events occurring at a recreation facility, such as the Bluesfest site, until further notice, must:

● ‘Take reasonably practicable steps to ensure attendees (not workers) remain seated.’

● ‘That no more than 20,000 people attend.’

● ‘That there is no dance floor at the event.’

● ‘That there must be security guards and/or COVID Marshall to ensure compliance.’
– we will have both at Bluesfest 2022.

● ‘Attendees do not congregate away from the seating areas.’
– which we interpret as a no standing to watch the event requirement. You can leave your seat to go to another stage, visit the stalls, obtain food & beverages, or use toilet facilities – however, it is recommended that masks are worn.

“This is really pretty much the requirements we set up for the last Bluesfest in 2021 – except at the time had a smaller capacity restriction.

“To ensure there is enough room for all patrons to enjoy the music comfortably, we have more than enough seats for the restricted capacity – we have around 24,000 seats available.

“We have big names on the lineup this year, including THE CAT EMPIRE doing their last ever performance on our Opening Night, MIDNIGHT OIL doing their final festival performance the Friday night, CROWDED HOUSE with their final performance of their tour 2022 Sunday… and so many more.

“It is therefore that we do suggest you take your seats well before headliners play to ensure you get to enjoy the performances up close and don’t take the risk of missing out if the event area they are playing is full by coming late… especially on our big nights Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“We are also happy to confirm that all of our international artists remain committed to coming… which brings me to outside shows:

● GEORGE BENSON‘s tour is getting close to being sold out on two of his three State Theatre shows in Sydney, with the third performance sitting at 70% SOLD OUT. His two Melbourne shows are also at 70% SOLD OUT.

● THE MARCUS KING BAND has sold out their Melbourne show and is sitting at 70% SOLD OUT of their Sydney show.

● CHRISTONE ‘KINGFISH’ INGRAM‘s shows which were only announced just last month are selling fast!

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There are around three thousand tickets left each night!

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“Yesterday in NSW, Premier Dominic Perrottet announced the “Event Saver” package, designed to encourage investment in the Festival and Major Events industry by compensating for losses if a Public Health Order cancellation occurs. Whilst we don’t want that to happen, I strongly thank the government for responding to the calls from our industry with the announcement.

“All we ask now is that the NSW government announce the COVID-19 insurance cover, which I’m advised is still with NSW Treasury, and will soon follow.

“I would like to add that if there is a cancellation, your ticket money – which is in a locked account – will be refunded as it has happened in the past. You will also have the option to support Bluesfest by holding your tickets for the next edition.

“If you have read so far, thank you. Everyone involved in the setup is so much looking forward to welcoming you. We have some new stage areas, designed to allow more social distancing which we will be updating you on soon.


Peter Noble
Festival Director

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