Two of Australia’s biggest festivals cancelled for 2021

Both Splendour in the Grass and Byron Bay Bluesfest have joined the spate of events forced to give up on 2021 and try again next year.

Splendour in the Grass co-founders Jessica Ducrou and Paul Piticco said slower than anticipated vaccine rates prompted the move, with the iconic Byron Bay festival now taking place on its 20th anniversary in July 2022.

“More of the population will be vaccinated, international talent will have the ability to enter the country more freely and we’ll be able to deliver the Splendour in the Grass that you know and love,” the pair said in a statement.

“Australia’s live music industry was already on its knees and the current outbreak, this time with a lack of JobKeeper or wage subsidy, is having a major impact on the livelihoods of everyone within the sector.

“From the many sole traders and small businesses, to the larger tour and event promoters, our industry is in desperate need of government help.”

Bluesfest, another much-loved Byron Bay shindig, echoed Ducrou and Piticco’s sentiment, rescheduling to its usual timing over the Easter long weekend in 2022.

The festival said in a statement that it expects things to have returned much more to normal.

“We have worked so hard to bring back Bluesfest and we are not giving up. We are concentrating on the future – and it is bright!” said a statement on the festival’s website.

“There is confidence that, by the end of this year, Australia will have achieved at least a 70 to 80 per cent vaccination rate and will have achieved at least stage three in the plan to open up the whole country. Lockdowns will be consigned to history.

“Perhaps we may even see international artists returning – if they can come, we will be presenting them!”

Many of the artists booked for the events’ respective 2021 line-ups will return in 2022, with Splendor confirming Gorillas, the Strokes and Tyler the Creator are staying on for the new dates, and Bluesfest’s list still boasting the likes of Midnight Oil, Paul Kelly, Jimmy Barnes and Pete Murry.

Both events will also transfer their 2021 tickets to the new dates, offering refunds for those who can no longer make it and resale tickets for those who previously missed out.

Featured image source: Facebook/Splendour in the Grass