What was to be our first post-COVID international arena tour has just been pushed back to 2022 – and angry organisers aren’t holding back.
What was to have been Australia’s first big international arena tour since the coronavirus pandemic has been pushed back at the last minute until 2022 – and organisers are furious.
The ‘Under the Southern Stars’ tour was set to start in Wollongong on April 30 and tour Australia’s biggest arenas until mid-May, featuring headlining international rock bands Stone Temple Pilots, Cheap Trick and Bush.
Now the organisers have had to pull the pin at the eleventh hour, moving the tour to yet-to-be-announced dates in the first quarter of 2022.
“We are as upset about this as you are!” the tour organisers announced, delivering a blistering statement on the Under the Southern Stars website which slammed the Australian government at all levels for “mismanagement” of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We must protect our patrons, our artists and our crews. Given the disappointingly slow roll-out of the vaccine by the government, there is no confidence that we can keep all safe and proceed as planned at our festivals this May,” the statement read.
“The continuing mismanagement of the COVID-19 situation at all levels of government has led to numerous inconsistencies and on-going broken promises by officials that ultimately affect the safety of our patrons, artists and our crews, both domestic and international.”
Orgnaisers said the recent last-minute cancellation of Byron Bay Bluesfest by the NSW government was “an incredibly disheartening display of what could possibly happen to our patrons, artists and crews – being left stranded high and dry only moments before one of our events is set to kick off”.
Organisers said that to limit the possibility of “getting stuck in the middle of further snap lockdowns, border closures and other knee-jerk reactions,” they would be moving the tour to next year.
Under The Southern Stars promoter Andrew McManus also issued a personal statement expressing his own frustrations.
“We ask you all to continue to believe in us. We must protect our artists and patrons. We get it … how many times can the Australian system force another postponement?” he said.
“So we are making the hard decision to reschedule Under The Southern Stars to the first quarter of 2022 and ask that all our valued supporters hold on to their tickets and in return we will be announcing some truly exciting additions to the line-up and festival circuit!”
A full announcement about the rescheduled dates and additions to the line-up will be shared in the coming weeks. Ticketholders are advised to hold onto their tickets.
It comes as Australia’s vaccine rollout falls well behind initial targets, with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian calling on Australia to “crack on” with getting vaccinated amid concerns people over 70 were cancelling vaccine appointments.
The Federal Government’s goal of having the national rollout completed by October was thrown off course last month when concerns were raised of potential links between the AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clotting.