Under The Southern Stars (UTSS) was set to welcome rock music legends Live, Bush and Stone Temple Pilots to Australia as part of its 2020 touring event. The festival was set to take place across nine dates in April but was postponed as a result of the disruptions caused by COVID-19.
The new dates for Under The Southern Stars were announced in mid-March with the festival set to go ahead in February/March 2021. There have been ongoing concerns as to whether international touring will be allowed by then given the differing COVID-19 situations overseas, but UTSS have publicly announced that they’d like to lay the blueprint for a return to normal, outlining a number of steps to ensure the international acts can enjoy a safe venture.
Dubbed the ‘COVID-Safe Road Map’, UTSS promoter Andrew McManus has partnered with Geoff Jones, of touring giant TEG Live, to ask the federal government to use Under The Southern Stars as the “test case” for future live music events that involve international touring.
The plan to be lobbied to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Health Minister Greg Hunt and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, will incorporate a number of precautionary measures to ensure the tour is safe.
The steps for the ‘COVID-Safe Road Map’ are as follows:
- All three acts will travel with essential band members only, alongside two support staff, and will be COVID-tested before leaving Los Angeles for Australia.
- A second COVID-19 test will be conducted after the band and support staff arrive in Australia.
- The bands will then be quarantined at an isolated compound with a rehearsal studio, for 14 days.
- The acts will hire an Australian tour crew to replace the band’s usual touring team.
- Segregated sections on flights and “military style” transfers between Australian cities for the bands and crew.
- Locked hotel floors for band crew.
- Punters must download the COVID-Safe app before attending the show.
- Temperature checks to be completed at the gig while those attending adhere to strict social distancing measures.
- Shows will be capped at 70 per cent of total capacity.
“We want to be part of the solution, not part of the COVID problem,” UTSS’ McManus says of the plan. “We want to work with government at all levels, federal, state and local to formulate a plan that can get our industry off its knees.
“There needs to be a road map made, and we feel we can be a flag point for the industry to reopen its doors. If the festival becomes a “test case”, we will share the road map at no cost, to operate all future festivals in this country.”
Under The Southern Stars is set to take place across 11 dates, starting with Perth’s HBF Arena on Tuesday February 16. The Victorian dates include a show at Hastings Foreshore Reserve on Saturday February 20 and Port Melbourne’s The Timber Yard on Wednesday March 3.