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Port Macquarie festival organiser uncertain about holding event in 2021

Port Macquarie festival organiser uncertain about holding event in 2021
August 7, 2020

With the founder of the UK's Glastonbury Festival advising this week that the event may not return until 2022, the organiser of the Howling Moon Blues Festival in Port Macquarie-Hastings has expressed similar fears over whether that event can be held in 2021.

With music festival organisers forced to put events on hold, the organisers of the Howling Moon Blues Festival in Port Macquarie-Hastings have highlighted how social distancing guidelines mean some festivals are just not financially feasible.

Speaking to the Port Macquarie News, Howling Moon Blues Festival Organiser,  Lisa Willows said she is not sure if the event, cancelled this year and rescheduled for June next year, will still go ahead in 2021 given the unfolding COVID-19 situation.

While grants are available for organisers to conduct festivals where people can carry out social distancing measures, Willows said the cost to run the festival would still not be met with less people attending the event under the health guidelines.

Concerned about the possibility of brand damage if the event was found to result in spreading Coronavirus, Willows told the Port Macquarie News “(what) if a festival is the cause of hundreds of cases? Your brand would be damaged for ever.”

Port Macquarie Beer and Cider Festival organiser Scott Mesiti is also unsure if this year’s event will proceed after a “triple whammy” of challenging events.

Mesiti noted “we’d like to yes but we can’t say for sure.

“We postponed the festival in November 2019 due to fires, then held the event in February in record rainfall and now COVID-19 is a huge factor.”

However, Mesiti said he was “always optimistic” with national ticket sales for shows organised by MJR Presents “maintaining a steady flow”.

He added “I do think people are very eager to get back to normality, as long as the event organisers can comply with COVID-19 safe standards.”

Image: The Steele Syndicate perform at the Howling Moon Blues Festival in 2019.

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