Coronavirus

Australia Government Bans Mass Gatherings: CMC Rocks Festival, Miranda Lambert Concerts & More Postponed

Miranda Lambert
Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Essential Broadcast Media

Miranda Lambert performs at Bridgestone Arena on Jan. 24, 2020 in Nashville, Tenn.

Australia’s live music sector is in limbo after the federal government announced a suspension on public gatherings, as part of unprecedented new measures designed to help halt the spread of coronavirus.

With effect from Monday, Australians won’t be allowed to gather in groups of 500 or more.

The so-called “cautionary" ban applies to “non-essential” gatherings, prime minister Scott Morrison said Friday (March 13), though it won’t extend to schools, universities, public transport or airports.  The national leader also warned Australians against travelling overseas, except in exceptional circumstances.

The government’s call had an immediate impact on Australia’s touring and concerts industry.

Late Friday, Michael Gudinski’s Frontier Touring and Michael Chugg’s Chugg Entertainment announced a number of upcoming concerts would no longer be able to proceed as scheduled, including arena tours by Miranda Lambert and Kip Moore, and the popular CMC Rocks QLD festival.

Both concerts companies are “presently working with all artist teams to determine if dates can be rescheduled to late 2020 or early 2021,” a joint statement reads.

The CMC Rocks QLD was due to take place across five days in Willowbank, west of Brisbane from next Wednesday (March 18), with a lineup featuring Lambert, Moore, Morgan Evans, Billy Currington and more.

As a result of the government’s announcement this afternoon, however, holding the country music fest “is now infeasible” and “cannot proceed as planned,” organizers say.

Presented by Potts Entertainment, Chugg Entertainment & Frontier Touring, talks are on rescheduling the 13th annual fest to October, the early stages of the next summer season.

As Australia enters the slower months in the live music calendar, promoters and concert-goers are nevertheless feeling a gut-punch from the COVID-19 outbreak, which the World Health Organization this week upgraded to a pandemic.

Prior to the government directive, several high-profile concerts and festivals had already been canceled, including a Miley Cyrus bushfire benefit and the 2020 Download Festival, while a growing list of tours have been indefinitely postponed.

Following the abrupt cancellation of the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix in Melbourne this weekend, a special one-off concert headlined by Robbie Williams at Lakeside Stadium has been called off.

Coronavirus

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