Bluesfest early 2021 cancellation costs nationwide loss of A$181.2 million

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Bluesfest early 2021 cancellation costs nationwide loss of A$181.2 million

Words by Sam McNiece

The music festival being cancelled has cost the live music sector greatly.

Bluesfest, a staple in the Australian festival scene has gone through heartbreak over the past couple years, having to cancel both of their planned festivals. The most recent cancellation came within 24 hours of the festival opening its gates. Bluesfest has released a report about the financial impact of the festival being unable to go ahead and the greater effect on the rest of Australia.

What you need to know:

  • Bluesfest, which was cancelled for the second time earlier in 2021 has published their economic impact report.
  • The report finds that the last minute cancellation of the Easter Bluesfest lost A$181.2 million of economic impact.
  • Although the festival was cancelled, it still generated an economic output of A$33.8 million.

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“We lost so much when Bluesfest was cancelled less than 24 hours out by NSW Public Health Order. Our entire industry was traumatized, yet we picked up the pieces, put ourselves back together, paid our bills, including significant payments to the cancelled artists and still delivered major numbers to the economy of New South Wales in economic output and job creation” explains Peter Noble OAM.

Noble couldn’t believe the festival was cancelled due to one COVID-19 case unrelated to the festival, and located over half an hour away from the site. Bluesfest is set to return this year even after two cancellations.

This report, which analyses the economic impact of Bluesfest 2021 being cancelled, shows A$181.2 million in losses including almost 900 full time equivalent job losses which would have been worth A$44.2 million.

Although the festival was unable to go ahead, they still managed to create a few jobs, with a full time equivalent of 53.6 jobs going ahead and a total output of A$33.8 million.

With both of these setbacks, Noble isn’t worried saying, “in the end we move on because we believe our industry, the live music industry, will come back stronger than ever.”

Read the economic impact report by Reuben Lawrence Consulting on the Bluesfest website.