Yothu Yindi and the Treaty Project perform at the Jambalaya Stage on the third day of the Byron Bay Bluesfest 2019.
Yothu Yindi and the Treaty Project perform at the Jambalaya Stage on the third day of the Byron Bay Bluesfest 2019.

Boutique, mask-free Bluesfest given important green light

The NSW Government has approved a 150-page COVID-safety plan for Bluesfest 2021.

Peter Noble, organiser of the five-day event, said the approval was a great day fore the live music industry.

"The good news is you won't need to wear a mask currently while attending," director Peter Noble said.

"While our capacity, stages and campgrounds will be approximately 50 per cent of the numbers we have had in the past, it is great to know there is a future for our industry, and that we have been given the opportunity to present Bluesfest 2021 at a level not seen at festivals in Australia since the summer of 2019/20.

"Our resolve to present our beloved, multi award-winning festival resulted in our commencing work with Riskworks to create a COVID-19 Safety Plan in May of 2020.

"We first lodged it with government in August and have continued to refine the plan since that time."

Mr Noble said his team has worked closely with NSW Health in developing the plan. "Certainly, the NSW Events Task Force and the offices of Stuart Ayres, Minister Tourism and Major Events NSW; John Barilaro, the Deputy Premier NSW; Ben Franklin, NSW Parliamentary Secretary for the Arts; the office of Don Harwin, NSW Minister the Arts and Paul Fletcher, Federal Minister the Arts are to be commended for working closely with us on a weekly basis to achieve this milestone result for the music loving people of Australia," he said.

Mr Noble said 80 per cent of Friday's tickets were already sold, and that Saturday and Sunday tickets were expected to sell out.


Crowds at the Byron Bay Bluesfest in 2018.
Crowds at the Byron Bay Bluesfest in 2018.


"We will be inspecting the 150-page COVID-19 Safety Plan in depth and will make a further announcement on how Bluesfest will be presented in a safe manner next week," he said.

"What we can say is that the plan is created in a way where we can adapt to the requirements of the NSW Health Department should there be a need to create higher levels of safety for the public on site, and, of course, we are also hopeful, that conditions will be further relaxed should there be no further community transmissions."

This year's All-Aussie line-up includes Jimmy Barnes, Tash Sultana, Ocean Alley, Ziggy Alberts, Teskey Brothers, John Butler, Xavier Rudd, The Cat Empire, Kasey Chambers, The Waifs, The Church, John Williamson, Ian Moss and Kev Carmody.

Also in the line up are Vika & Linda, Chain, Backsliders, Melbourne Ska Orchestra, Blue King Brown, Kate Miller-Heidke, Dami Im, Weddings Parties Anything, Russell Morris, Briggs, Jon Stevens and more.

For more details, click here.

At the Byron Events Farm (formerly Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm), April 1 to 5.