A major music festival set to hit the Gold Coast next month has again been postponed, with organisers blaming the country’s “slow vaccine rollout” for the last-minute decision.
Organisers of the Under the Southern Stars festival, which was due to kick off on April 30 in Wollongong before making its way across Australia, confirmed the news in a statement on Wednesday.
“The Under the Southern Stars spectacular concert series has regrettably and unfortunately been postponed again,” the statement said.
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“Given the disappointingly slow roll-out of the vaccine by the Government, there is no confidence that we can keep all safe and proceed as planned at our festivals this May.
“The continuing mismanagement of the Covid-19 situation at all levels of government has led to numerous inconsistencies and on-going broken promises by officials that ultimately affect the safety of our patrons, artists and our crews, both domestic and international.
“So much so that the situation presents too much to risk to go forward with the dates as planned at the end of April and into May 2021.”
Cheap Trick, Bush and Stone Temple Pilots were among those set to perform.
However, organisers of the event admitted that the recent cancellation of the Bluesfest Byron Bay festival also cast doubts about progressing ahead.
“The very recent eleventh hour cancellation of Byron Bay Bluesfest by the NSW government on the eve of the landmark festivals start date over Easter was an incredibly disheartening display of what could possibly happen to our patrons, artists and crews – being left stranded high and dry only moments before one of our events is set to kick off,” they said.
“To keep all involved as safe as we can and limit the possibility of getting stuck in the middle of further snap lockdowns, border closures and other knee-jerk reactions, we have to move Under The Southern Stars to a time that gives the series its best chance of running smoothly, as planned and ultimately allowing for the best experience possible to all ticket holders.”
Promoter Andrew McManus urged fans to continue to have faith in the festival, saying it will be back “bigger and better”.
“We ask you all to continue to believe in us. We must protect our artists and patrons. We get it … how many times can the Australian system force another postponement?” he said.
“So we are making the hard decision to reschedule Under The Southern Stars to the first quarter of 2022 and ask that all our valued supporters hold on to their tickets and in return we will be announcing some truly exciting additions to the line-up and festival circuit”.
A full announcement including the rescheduled dates and additions to the line-up are expected to be shared in the coming weeks.