Omicron surge puts festivals on alert

Festivals in New South Wales are on alert as Covid cases surge across the state.

The Lunar Electric music festival in Newcastle was cancelled over the weekend under a Public Health Order following a spike in Covid cases in the area including a record number of the Omicron variant.

The Tamworth Country Music Festival is keeping a close on eye on case numbers with some modelling suggesting cases could hit up to 25,000 cases per day in NSW by January.

Organisers say the 50th anniversary event will go ahead on January 14, with the 10 day festival expected to attract hundreds of thousands of people.

“It’s timing couldn’t be worse, at the same time that the state government’s relaxed most of the restrictions applied to venues,” festival manager Barry Harley told the ABC.

“To get that modelling is a bit disturbing.

“The reality of the situation is whatever the health orders are of the day, we and the venues obviously will comply.”

Harley said hundreds of businesses rely on the festival which injects up to $70 million into the local economy

“We’d like to be risks adverse, but given the latest easing of restrictions, we like to think it’s still going ahead,” he said.