27th Annual Byron Bay Bluesfest 2016
27th Annual Byron Bay Bluesfest 2016

Could Bluesfest come back as a spring event this year?

Is Bluesfest going to be rescheduled to later in the year?

The last minute cancellation of the five-day festival on the day campers were starting to enter the event's grounds send shockwaves across the Northern Rivers, with many businesses and workers affected, including musicians and the festival's organisers.

>>> MEGA PHOTO GALERY: Memories from Bluesfest past

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard confirmed on Wednesday that the state government is working with Bluesfest organisers on a possible alternative date.

"(There is) a lot of work going on behind the scenes with Peter Noble and with Bluesfest," the Minister said.

What Bluesfest cancellation means for ticket holders

"I am very keen to see the Bluesfest come back on, and I think there are a lot of us in the community who are keen to see it come back on, but that has to be worked through by Peter, and that's a big challenge.

"It was a very big festival that he was going to be having, and I'm sure it will be on again sometime, hopefully this year"

 

Sam Bailey, of Sydney, sporting a lovely blue beard at Byron Bay Bluesfest 2016. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
Sam Bailey, of Sydney, sporting a lovely blue beard at Byron Bay Bluesfest 2016. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

 

Mr Hazzard stood by the decision to cancel the festival hours before it was to start.

"The decisions that we are taking, and are taken all the time, are based on the bets public health advice," he said.

"I don't think anybody in Australia could say that we don't have, or I think we have, the best chief health officer in the country and the best Public health team.

"If we had not made that decision, we may be standing here today trying to explain why we had hundreds if not thousands of people who actually did have COVID."

 

Sunday offered no storm activity but gumboots were still mandatory apparel at Bluesfest 2016.
Sunday offered no storm activity but gumboots were still mandatory apparel at Bluesfest 2016.

 

On Sunday, April 4, Bluesfest published a statement on their social media mentioning a possible rescue package for the event.

"Don't lose confidence in our future. We will carry on the fight to keep it alive. Stay with us," the statement said.

"We are in discussion with Government, and their initial response is a positive one.

"We are hopeful to announce a rescue package soon to everyone involved in the festival."

 

 

Felix Riebl from The Cat Empire at Bluesfest 2016.
Felix Riebl from The Cat Empire at Bluesfest 2016.

 

The Northern Star readers expressed their support for a rescheduling of the festival via social media.

Mark Finlayson was hopeful of a Mid-October date.

"If it can be done in some form, why not? Of course there is always the risk of the same thing happening, but maybe the October long weekend would be possible, particularly if the vaccination roll out has gotten on track which would minimise the chance of a repeat," he said.

Rene Thalmann was in agreement, as soon as all parties had safeguards in place.

"Yes, definitely a good idea … will we have the proper safeguards by then in place that organisers, artists, traders, other services plus festival goers will not be again brutally smashed against a concrete wall if the event is cancelled again the way we just witnessed?" he said.

Nathan Lee was keen on a July date.

"Have it in July since there moved Splendour in the Grass to later in the year."

Some were more cautions on their approach.

Steve Wood was not keen to see the event brought back this year.

"That depends on what people think is more important, more valuable ...... the local council and organisers getting to fill their pockets with money, or the health and well being of the entire Northern Rivers Community?"

 

>>>Read more: Bluesfest cancellation puts $100m boost on hold