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Day the music died, again: Splendour admits defeat, looks to next July

Culture

Another 2021 music festival has toppled, with the organisers of Splendour in the Grass rescheduling the planned November event to next July and calling on music lovers to get vaccinated to help festivals get back on their feet.

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It comes just a day after Bluesfest also cancelled its October date, pushing that event back to Easter 2022.

Both festivals have now not been held for two years. Both have also been deferred four times as the live music industry gamely battles ongoing virus outbreaks to bring back events.

The 20th anniversary of Splendour was initially planned for July 2020 at Byron Bay. It was then rescheduled to October 2020, then July 2021, before being pushed out again to November 2021.

Now, due to the NSW lockdown and sluggish vaccine uptake, it is being moved yet again to three days from 22 July 2022.

“With vaccine rollout progressing more slowly than anticipated, we have made the decision to move the 20th anniversary edition of the festival to July 2022,” co-founders Jessica Ducrou and Paul Piticco said.

“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.”

In a bid to get more people vaccinated just south of the Queensland border, where the rate for people 15 and over who are fully vaccinated hovered at 20 per cent as of last week, they urged music lovers to do their bit for the ailing industry and get the jab.

“Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the recent outbreak and lockdowns. We encourage you to get vaccinated if, or as soon as, you are eligible both for your safety and those around you.”

The latest festival rescheduling comes as Bluesfest organiser Peter Noble this week also pulled the plug on the October event, restaging it next April.

He even said the ongoing battle to host events amid the pandemic in NSW made him wish “the north coast was part of Queensland.”

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