Under The Southern Stars was set to take place across 12 sites in April, though promoter Andrew McManus has now shelved the shows.
“In light of the current global health crisis,” McManus says in a statement, “we feel that it is imperative to protect the Under The Southern Stars family and proceed in a clear and calm manner.”
With the expansion of travel bans and lock-downs in efforts to tackle the spread of COVID-19, and with “the safety of our patrons, artists, staff and crew in mind we have no other alternative than to postpone our April 2020 festival tour dates,” he continues.
Rose Tattoo and Electric Mary were support acts for the traveling fest, which was due to kick off April 3 in Tuncurry, New South Wales, lap the country and wrap up April 19 in Newcastle.
Organizers say they’ve been in touch with artists on the bill and revised dates should be announced next week, with new shows likely coming in February or March 2021.
Australia, like elsewhere, is seeing concerts and live events fold on a daily basis due to the disruption called by coronavirus.
“We expect this to get worse with industry losing hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of jobs,” says Live Performance Australia CEO Evelyn Richardson, who has pleaded with federal government to help cover the live sector when the time comes.
In recent days, Miley Cyrus canceled her appearance at a bushfire benefit concert in Melbourne due to the global health crisis, Tasmania’s Dark Mofo 2020 was scrapped, Pixies ended their national tour early and the two-date Download Festival was shelved for the year.
“Many of our companies are vulnerable and within both the commercial and subsidized sectors, there are companies that will not have the balance sheet strength to withstand the combined impacts of box office failure and contract obligations, and some larger event cancellations may cause irreparable damage,” Richardson continues.
“Given the significant economic and social contribution of the live performance industry, including in regional areas, it is vital that government acts now to minimize business failure, loss of jobs and investment.”
The worst is almost certainly yet to come. Prime minister Scott Morrison announced non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people would be suspended from Monday.
The “precautionary” ban would not be extended to schools, universities, public transport or airports.