The destructive bushfires currently lighting-up Australia have forced the cancelation of a major Cold Chisel concert.
The ARIA Hall of Fame-inducted rock outfit are on the road in support of Blood Moon, their chart-topping 2019 comeback album, with a string of live dates booked in for January and February.
Chisel were scheduled to play an open-air show Tuesday (Jan. 7) at the All Saints Estate, a winery in the Rutherglen wine region of Victoria.
Mother nature, however, wasn’t on their side.
On the advice of authorities, the show was canceled as the treacherous conditions in Albury, Wodonga and surrounding areas and hazardous air quality made the site unsafe.
“We are extremely disappointed to cancel today’s event at All Saints Estate but the unsafe conditions give us no other option,” says Roundhouse Entertainment promoter Michael Newton, whose company produces the A Day On the Green series of summer winery shows.
“Our first priority is the safety of patrons, staff and artists and with air quality on the site and in surrounding areas now at a hazardous level, we have no other option but to cancel today’s show.
Cold Chisel are very sorry to announce that tonight’s show has to be cancelled due to hazardous site conditions. Details below: https://t.co/zPUKHwsnqL
— Cold Chisel (@coldchisel) January 6, 2020
Birds of Tokyo and Magic Dirt were the support acts for what is now the highest-profile concert to be scrapped this summer due to the devastating bushfires.
“We have been on-site for the past week preparing for the show, and sadly we have seen the air quality deteriorate to a level where we have been advised that it would not be safe to proceed,” adds Newton.
“We are also concerned about traffic, given the fires in the area. This is a really unfortunate situation. We do not cancel shows lightly, and we are devastated that we have had to cancel what would have been our first show for 2020.”
By close of business Tuesday, the sold-out A Day On The Green show at Rochford Wines, Yarra Valley this Friday, and the follow day’s sold-out date at Mt Duneed Estate, Geelong will go ahead as planned.
The bushfire crisis has affected several live shows in the south-east of Australia, including the Lorne leg of last month’s Falls Festival, which was scrapped as weather conditions worsened.
Australia’s music industry is fighting back with a raft of fundraising concerts, and pledges of financial assistance from artists and organizations.
On Monday, live entertainment giant TEG unveiled Fire Fight Australia, which will take place Feb. 16 at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, featuring a “stellar line-up of major international and local artists”. The full lineup of artist and partners will be announced shortly, reads a statement from TEG’s live divisions, TEG Dainty and TEG Live.
Few promoters believe the Chisel date will be the last show to fall because of the fires. Michael Chugg’s company Chugg Entertainment kicks off a run of outdoor shows with two in the Hunter Valley this weekend. The bushfire season is “the worst ever, believe me,” he says.