In a crucial step forward for the return of multi-award-winning Blues on Broadbeach in 2021, the festival’s COVID Safe Plan has been approved! Great news to all involved. However Byron Bay’s Bluesfest which was cancelled for the second year in a row is still counting the cost and has just released an impact list.

Featuring a wonderful line-up including Grammy Award-winning Aussie rock legends Wolfmother, critically acclaimed Christine Anu, Blues icon C.W. Stoneking and Kiwi roots reggae outfit The Black Seeds, Blues on Broadbeach 2021 will see a re-imagined and innovative COVID safe festival design come to life in Broadbeach on May 20-23.

Festival Director Mark Duckworth can’t wait for the return of live music to the Gold Coast.  “It was fantastic news for the Blues on Broadbeach’s COVID Safe Plan to be given the tick of approval, as the planning for 2021 has been a totally new experience for us.”

“It is a credit to the whole team. We had so much support from the fans and artists to keep at it. We’re so excited to share it with you.  I know it’s going to be a special event.”

With the support of the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund – an Australian Government initiative, the event will return safely for attendees and artists, featuring a combination of Park Stages, Dine & Watch precincts and partnered venues. The Park Stages will be enclosed and daily check in and wrist banding will be required prior to entry.  Park Stages will have limited seating available, food and licensed bar areas, and a dedicated entry and exit.

The Dine & Watch precincts will see restaurants and bars extending out onto Surf Parade and Oracle Boulevard to ramp up the Blues on Broadbeach celebrations. COVID check-in and requirements will be specific to each venue’s COVID plan.

Visit the Blues on Broadbeach website for more information on the Blues on Broadbeach COVID Safe Plan.

Blues on Broadbeach May 20-23.

Meanwhile, Peter Noble’s Byron Bay Bluesfest has released an impact list, outlining the loss in numbers after it was cancelled by NSW Health due to a single Covid case a day before the festival was due to open:

2,500 workers, 140+ trucks and flatbeds, 80+ semi-trailers, 72 lighting towers, 42 generators…

19,500 chairs were trucked in and laid out… then re-packed and trucked out.

500 lanterns & 10km of wiring… all strung by hand. They were stringing the very last lantern when told Bluesfest had been closed down.

With already 500+ campers checked in and on-site, as well as over 2000+ team workers… our waste management was already in full swing! Our team sift through every piece – sorting between food, recycling and landfill. We are proud of the legends that are in our waste team… and the amazing job they do sorting through every bin.

So, next time you see a choice of bins… help the hidden legends out – choose the right bin and make their job so much easier.

79 stallholders were loaded in and ready to serve 5 days worth of festival-goers! Be sure to follow, like and share all our amazing Bluesfest 2021 stallholders’ pages

Our back of house caterers were armed and ready (over $30K worth of food prepped)… feeding the hundreds of site workers each day (with about 4000+ meals already served). But, despite the cancellation and their early kitchen close-down, no food went to waste. Food was still prepared for our site workers over the weekend while the site was loaded out… and ALL the excess food was donated to charities.

200+ media personnel, including 40+ photographers from around the country,  representing over 100 different local or national media outlets, radio stations, newspapers or TV programs, were ready to capture the action, talk to the Bluesfest artists and enjoy the five days of the festival.

Australian Musician had photographer Jason Rosewarne in Byron ready to roll too and he had to simply turn around a day later and come home. And poor old Rhythms magazine printed thousands of copies of a Bluesfest special edition that had been shipped to the venue. You can do them a favour by subscribing at

Bluesfest organisers have asked that you hold onto your tickets for now and await news on rescheduled dates.

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  • Dom DiSisto
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