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BREAKING NEWS: Byron Bay Bluesfest Cancelled Money Back Conditions

Byron Bay Bluesfest has been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns after a local tested positive.

Earlier today NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard signed a public health order cancelling the festival, scheduled to take part on the Easter long weekend.

“NSW Health acknowledges that the cancellation of Bluesfest is disappointing for ticket holders and event organisers, however while urgent investigations and contact tracing are ongoing, NSW Health is adopting a cautious approach to keep everyone safe,” the ministry said in a statement, acknowledging the “outstanding co-operation” of organisers.

“I hope that ticket holders would support Bluesfest and hold on to their tickets as I understand Bluesfest will be working on a new date as soon as possible,” Mr Hazzard said.

Bluesfest owner and promoter Peter Noble was contacted for comment but both he and his communications manager have not returned my calls or responded to my emails.

The festival has yet to release a public statement.

Money Back

Since the festival was cancelled by the government, via a public health order, ticket holders will be eligible for refunds, as they were in 2020, according to the event’s Terms and Conditions, according to the festival’s website.

“To eradicate any risk for the customer, should the event be cancelled by government, Bluesfest 2021 ticket income will be held in a locked bank account,” Bluesfest’s website stated in its Frequently Asked Questions section.

“If the event is unable to proceed on the advertised date or location by Government order, Bluesfest reserves the right to reschedule the event, and offer a credit or exchange to the rescheduled date, or offer a refund request window of 28 days.”

This is in relation to the Live Performance Australia Ticketing Code, part E.

As it was the case in 2020, ticket vendor Moshtix will be required to contact ticket holders to start the refund process.

The festival was scheduled to start on Thursday and run for five days, with some ticketholders due to arrive today to set up camp.

Punters have expressed dismay on social media – with one saying they had already driven nine hours, only to now be turned away on arrival.

Earlier today, we reported questions being asked about the festival, which was scheduled to go ahead this weekend before the NSW Government bought in restrictions for the Byron Bay area.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that new restrictions will be put in place in four local government areas surrounding Byron Bay. This follows two women from Brisbane, who both tested positive to the virus, attending several venues last weekend including the Byron Bay Hotel.

NSW Health officials now believe that Bluesfest, featuring Jimmy Barnes and Pete Murray, could have been a COVID-19 powder keg after Byron Bay became a hotspot for outbreaks.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard is already getting hot under the collar, with Bluesfest scheduled to begin at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm on Thursday and run until Monday 5th of April.

Hazzard said the event could be a hazard because 15,000 people congregate on any one day.

Since then, a 20-year male has been diagnosed with COVID-19 after he sat close to the women.

The 20 year old who attended the same venue as the bachelorette party that prompted health alerts in Byron Shire has tested positive to COVID-19, bringing an end to 14 days without community transmission of the virus in NSW.

The restrictions will apply in the local government areas of Byron, Ballina, Tweed and Lismore, which includes the location of Bluesfest.

Household gatherings will be limited to 30 people. All venues will revert to four-square-metre rule and drinking while standing will be banned.

For three days I have attempted to get clarity about the event neither the Executive Director of the event or their communication management have called or emailed me back.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, rain is forecast for every day of the festival. Rain has been falling in Byron for several days and the location of the event, which is in paddocks, has already been impacted by heavy rain.

Organisers are also facing the real possibility that Brisbane could still be in lockdown with visitors from the COVID-19-affected city prevented from attending the event.

More to follow.

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