Community News

Few community members feeling blue after Bluesfest cancelled

It’s one of the most popular local events in the Northern Rivers region.

And for the second year in a row, it was prevented from going ahead due to the Covid-19 pandemic after a Byron Bay resident returned a positive test result.

The iconic Byron Bay Bluesfest was officially cancelled less than 24 hours before it was scheduled to begin over the Easter long weekend.

While organisers described the cancellation as heartbreaking, the Clarence Valley Independent started wondering what nearby communities thought of the decision…

Annika Wilson: It was absolutely the right thing to do because it only takes one infected person to spread the virus to others. Yeah, I was really happy it was cancelled and no, I wasn’t planning on going.

Heidi Skye-Reeves: No, I think the festival should have gone ahead. If most people were outdoors and wore masks, I think it would have been safer. My friend in Lismore had bought tickets for me and her to go and we were both looking forward to seeing The Cat Empire perform. We’re still feeling crappy about not going.

Julia Reed: I don’t think it had to be cancelled. There are always going to be a few cases of Covid-19 around.

Jaxon Mays: Yeah, it was the best decision to call off the event because it would have been too risky.

Felicity Hope: It was so sad Bluesfest was stopped from going ahead for the second year in a row. My family lives in Lismore and the festival brings a lot of money into the area, so I’m sad it didn’t go ahead. If people did the right thing and took precautions to stay safe, I think it would have been ok.

Maisie Hilldale: I was so, so, so relieved when I heard Bluesfest was cancelled. I didn’t care that there was only one positive case of Covid-19 at the time, one case is still one too many.

Kevin Stark: The festival has nothing to do with us here in the Clarence Valley, but I know a lot of locals who were happy it was canned because it would have been too great a risk if it had carried on.

Debra King: I know a lot of teenagers from Grafton who were planning to go to Bluesfest and I was very relieved it was called off. It was in the best interests of public health and safety and I wasn’t going to let my teenage daughter go.

Kate Mills: It was a good decision. We had to cancel the Jacaranda Festival last year. You have to do the right thing to help keep communities safe.

Casey Mann: Bluesfest doesn’t have anything to do with Yamba, where I live, or the Clarence Valley in general, but it was good that it was cancelled. I felt nervous about an event that big going ahead in a hotspot which is only a few hours north of where we live.