Jimmy Barnes and his fomer Cold Chisel band mate Ian Moss were due to play at Bluesfest. Picture: Naomi Jellicoe
Jimmy Barnes and his fomer Cold Chisel band mate Ian Moss were due to play at Bluesfest. Picture: Naomi Jellicoe

‘Hope and livelihood’ of music industry hit by Blues blow

Some of Australia's biggest rock acts such as Jimmy Barnes, The Cat Empire and The Church have expressed their sympathy for Bluesfest's last minute cancellation.

The Byron Bay music festival was called off due to COVID-19 fears on Wednesday, even though at that stage there was only one active case on the Northern Rivers.

There's been an outpouring of emotions given the music festival was stopped, but the Royal Easter Show and various AFL and NRL footy games went aahead with crowds in big stadiums.

Seminal 1980s, 1990s guitar band The Church would have played their first gig in two years on Good Friday.

They posted on Instagram the band was "devastated" not to be able to get on stage.

"Our thoughts and support are with everyone involved, all you lovers of music. We hope to play for you all very soon," their post stated.

Legendary rocker Jimmy Barnes said the festival's cancellation was a "huge blow for Aussie music".

"While this is such huge blow for Aussie music, the health and well-being of this country has to come first," Barnes said on Twitter.

"Thanks to the team at Bluesfest for doing the best they could in preparation."

 

The Cat Empire have spoken out about Bluesfest being cancelled.
The Cat Empire have spoken out about Bluesfest being cancelled.

 

The Cat Empire were inspired to play music by attending previous Bluesfests as young men.

"It was so important to see this iconic event prevail, and the shocking timing of a couple of COVID cases has seen it all collapse, taking the hope and livelihood of so many of our industry down with it," the band Tweeted.

Prominent Federal Labor MP Tanya Plibersek waded into the debate.

"The Federal and State governments should work together to help out Bluesfest," she said.

"It's suffered a terrible blow through no fault of its own. It supports so many artists. So many jobs at stake."


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