Outback music festival organiser to make vaccines compulsory for attendees in 2022

The organiser behind Birdsville’s Big Red Bash and Broken Hill’s Mundi Mundi Bash has announced that anyone wanting to attend either festival in 2022 must be fully vaccinated against Covid.

The vaccine mandate applies to all attendees over 16 as well as staff, volunteers, contractors and vendors.

“Every decision related to the operation of the festivals is made with health and safety as an overriding consideration,” Outback Music Festival Group managing director Greg Donovan told The Daily Telegraph.

“Staging festivals in such remote locations, where patrons come from all over Australia and travel through small regional and outback communities, many of which have large indigenous populations, has led us to carefully review our position on vaccinations.

“This will offer all in attendance the best available protection against Covid-19. It will also ensure that remote communities are protected as much as possible from our patrons travelling through and visiting these towns and communities.”

The Big Red Bash was one of the success stories of this year with thousands of festival goers heading to Birdsville, but this year’s  Mundi Mundi Bash had to be postponed to April next year following the outbreak in NSW.”

Donovan said the decision was also spurred by the inability for events to get Covid insurance to cover cancellations.

“Covid-19 is currently our biggest threat, and it’s the one thing we can’t insure against,” he said. “And the government has offered us no lifeline in that respect either.

“So asking our patrons to be vaccinated is all we can do to give ourselves and the communities in which we operate some level of protection. It’s not foolproof, but it certainly adds a big degree of comfort in moving forward.”