Two Australian music festivals are going vaccine-only for next year.
The 2022 Broken Hill Mundi Mundi Bash and Birdsville Big Red Bash will be vaccine-only. The Outback Music Festival Group says all ticket holders, staff, volunteers, contractors, and vendors will need to be vaccinated.
Both music festivals are multi-day affairs located in remote areas of Queensland and New South Wales. Outback Music Festival Group is the first Australian event organizer to embrace a vaccine-only policy.
Founder and Managing Director Greg Donovan told The Music Network that vaccines are a requirement because of their remote locations. “Staging festivals in such remote locations, where patrons come from all over Australia and travel through small regional and outback communities, many of which have large indigenous populations, has led us to carefully review our position on vaccinations.”
“Whilst we respect the choice of individuals as to whether or not they decide to get vaccinated, due to the nature and location of our festivals, we have decided to make vaccination a condition of attendance for everyone aged 16 and over – including patrons, staff, contractors, vendors, and volunteers.”
Outback Music Festival Group says a vaccine-only policy is the best available protection against COVID-19.
“It will also ensure that remote communities are protected as much as possible from our patrons traveling through and visiting these towns and communities,” Donovan adds. But he also places some of the blame at the Australian government’s feet for the strict requirements.
“We take out insurance to protect our events against weather conditions such as extreme rain and wind. COVID is currently our biggest threat, and it’s the one thing we can’t insure against. And the government has offered us no lifeline in that respect either,” Donovan says.
“So asking our patrons to be vaccinated is all we can do to give ourselves and the communities in which we operate some level of protection. It’s not foolproof, but it certainly adds a big degree of comfort in moving forward.”
The Outback Music Festival Group was the first event organizer to stage a multi-day camping festival in Australia since the onset of the pandemic.
The 2021 Birdsville Big Red Bash had around 10,000 attendees in July. The Broken Hill Mundi Mundi Bash will continue in April and August 2022. The next Birdsville Big Red Bash will return in July 2022 as expected – with a new vaccine-only attendance policy in place.